Malik from hospital bed: I was the whistleblower in scam, raid to silence critics

Speaking from his bed in a New Delhi hospital — he is being treated for a foot infection — former Jammu & Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik told The Indian Express that the raids carried out at his residence Thursday by the CBI were “uncalled for” since he was actually the “whistleblower and complainant” in the Kiru Hydro Electric Power Project case.

The former Governor was admitted to the hospital four days ago but said that the CBI probably was not aware of this fact and went and searched his Delhi residence as well as those of many of his relatives and associates.

“This is the same Kiru case in which I had said there was an offer of Rs 150 crore as bribe but I had refused to sign the file. But instead of taking action against the culprits whom I had named, the CBI has decided to raid and harass the whistleblower himself.”

Questioned about the timing of the raids at his residence, Malik said they were evidently linked to the upcoming general elections. “The Government wants to silence its critics and did not like the manner in which I have been questioning them on the farmers agitation since the past year.”

He added that the final contract for the Rs 2,200 crore Kiru project was signed in 2019 after he demitted office as J&K Governor.

Festive offer

Moving from the Bihar Raj Bhavan, Malik took oath as Governor of J&K in August 2018, and demitted office on October 2019 when he moved to Goa as Governor from where he was posted to Meghalaya where he served as Governor from August 2020 to October 2022.

“I have been a Governor in four States, two after Jammu and Kashmir, will I ever indulge in such corruption? And would the Centre have moved me to two Raj Bhavans if I was corrupt?” Malik said.

“Apparently, it is some officer who gave evidence to the CBI that the private company was chosen on instructions of the then Governor which is a totally false allegation. There is no basis of these allegations and the raids are a vindictive action.”

Asked about the alleged recoveries made by the CBI today, the former Governor said that he was informed by his staff that some papers were removed and that no computer was confiscated since he never used one.

Significantly, he said he had been “anticipating” such an action and had earlier moved the manuscript of his yet-to-be-published book tentatively titled “The Truth about Kashmir” to a safer place.

“I had spoken about my tell-all book on Kashmir at a public rally and that is how people know about it. I realized that I should not keep the 200-page manuscript at home and today’s raids have proved me correct. Once the elections are announced and the code of conduct is in place, I will rush the book for printing. There are many publishers who are in touch with me for the Kashmir book.”