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UP: Khap Leaders Express Solidarity With Satya Pal Malik Over Pulwama Remarks, Threaten 'Mahapanchayat'

Farmers in Shamli handed over a memorandum to the district administration, threatening a mahapanchayat if the government does not stop “harassing” Malik.
former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satyapal Malik

Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satyapal Malik. Image Courtesy: PTI

Lucknow: The representatives of various Khap panchayats in Western Uttar Pradesh came out in support of former Jammu & Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik, who came into limelight for his recent “controversial” statement over the Pulwama attack. Malik had stated in an interview that the loss of 40 paramilitary jawans could have been avoided had the Centre approved the requisition of five aircraft sought by the CRPF.

Gathwala or Malik, which is one of the biggest Khaps with clan members in 84 villages in Western Uttar Pradesh, reportedly recently organised a meeting to express solidarity with Malik.

Read Also: Former J&K Governor Says PM Modi, NSA Doval Asked him to ‘Seal his Lips’ on Pulwama

Speaking with NewsClick, Samajwadi Party MLA Pankaj Malik alleged that the Centre wanted to "suppress" the voice of the former Governor. The Narendra Modi government’s silence on these issues has grave implications for our national security and the unity and integrity of India. If Khap leaders from our region come together for national interest, then we will support them. A major decision will be taken by holding a meeting of Khap leaders, he added.

Residents of Hisawada village in Baghpat district, the ancestral village of the former Governor, and Dhikoli village, where Malik had studied at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Inter College, also gathered in large numbers, and threatened to organise state-wide protests in the support of Malik.

"A series of meetings at village level is going on and soon we will organise a mahapanchayat in Baghpat, "Om Veer Dhaka, a Rashtriya Lok Dal leader (RLD) from Baghpat, told NewsClick, adding that villagers of these two village had an “emotional attachment” to Malik and would not let “anybody harass him” just because he is raising issues in the interest of the nation.

Dhaka demanded a probe by a Supreme Court judge into the issues raised by the former Governor, claiming that Malik “can’t level allegations without facts”.

Malik, who recently raised grave questions about the 2019 Pulwama terror attack and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s purported response (of asking hi to remain silent) that evening, has been summoned by the CBI to provide “clarifications” relating to a corruption case that he had earlier flagged.

A large number of Malik’s supporters from Baghpat reportedly set off for the national capital last Saturday when rumours about Malik having been arrested spread. They, however, turned back midway after learning that the former governor was back home.

The farmers and the Khap leaders have in one voice declared their support for the former governor and said they would support the 'Mahapanchayat'.

Malik was summoned for CBI questioning on April 28 over an alleged corruption case by Reliance General Insurance that the former governor spoke about in a viral interview to The Wire. Among other things, he had revealed were the failures of the Modi government in handling the Pulwama terror attacks. These revelations had led to widespread support from farmers' organisations from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

Yashpal Singh, Thembedar (regional head) of Tomar Khap which has influence in more than 84 villages told NewsClick, "Mostly the children of the poor and farmers are in the army and CRPF. If Satya Pal Malik is making allegations which are in the interest of our nation must be investigated instead of suppressing the voice of Malik. Khap meetings have been held continuously ever since we heard he (former Governor) has been summoned for a CBI inquiry and we will not let it harass him."

Singh, whose son is serving as a CRPF officer at Jammu border, said, "If this is happening to our children at the border as said by the former Governor then it is injustice and we have the every right to know the truth."

Meanwhile, a section of farmers unions, including Kisan Union and Bhartiya Kisan Union, extended support to Malik over his statement on Pulwama attack. 

Farmers in Shamli handed over a memorandum to the district administration, threatening a mahapanchayat in support of Malik if the government does not stop “harassing” him. 

"Malik had stood by the farmers during the year-long agitation against the now repealed farm laws. Therefore, it is our turn to support him. Khap leaders in western Uttar Pradesh are enraged by the way the government is harassing him for speaking up truth." Bhastya Pal Malik, Kisan Union leader told NewsClick. 

The former J&K Governor has claimed that after the February 14, 2019, Pulwama attack Prime Minister Modi had asked him to 'seal his lips' over some alleged lapses that he flagged.

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