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HindustanTimes Sun,24 Aug 2014

'Mir innocent till proven guilty'

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, September 21, 2013
First Published: 19:23 IST(21/9/2013) | Last Updated: 19:24 IST(21/9/2013)

J&K Congress chief Saif-ud-din Soz on Saturday defended agriculture minister Ghulam Hassan Mir regarding allegations of being bribed to topple Omar Abdullah-led government, saying he "was innocent till proven guilty".

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Speaking to the media, Soz said he was not opposing an inquiry into the allegations against Mir.

According to a newspaper report, former army chief General VK Singh misused military intelligence funds and among others bribed Ghulam Hassan Mir to topple Omar Abdullah's government.

Mir is reported to have received `1.19 crore, a charge he had denied. Talking to Hindustan Times on Friday Mir had called the "story baseless".

The newspaper lists all these revelations as the conclusions of an inquiry conducted by the army and the report has reportedly been given to the defence ministry.

"We are a democratic country and law will take its own course. He will be guilty only if he can't defend himself. Till that time he is innocent," said Soz.

"It's a just a story and whether this will stand the test of time has to be seen. All I am saying is that he has a right to defend himself. He has been accused by a newspaper report. If he is proven guilty in court, we will surely take action," Soz added.

Mir who is an Independent candidate has been made minister after nomination by the Congress.

The newspaper report about the illegal spending by VK Singh also said that an NGO, Jammu and Kashmir Humanitarian Service Organisation (JKHSO), which was linked to 'Yes Kashmir' -- the organisation that filed a PIL against army chief Bikram Singh in the alleged fake encounter case in Jangalat Mandi when he was Brigadier.

The PIL, later dismissed, was widely seen as an attempt to scuttle Bikram Singh's appointment and change the line of succession in the top brass.

Regarding General VK Singh, Soz said, "VK Singh likes controversy and even after retirement controversies are following him. He loves controversy, I guess. I guess first VK Singh has to clarify certain things, then only we will react," he added.


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