satya pal malik
Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik was addressing a public event in Kargil.IANS

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik stirred controversy on Sunday (July 21) when he said that militants should "kill corrupt netas who have looted the entire wealth of J&K" instead of the innocent people and security personnel.

Attending a public event in Kargil, Satya Pal Malik said: "These boys who have picked up guns are killing their own people, they are killing PSOs (personal security officer) and SPOs (special police officers). Why are you killing innocents? What will you gain by this? If you have to kill why don't you kill the corrupt who have looted the country and Kashmir for so long."

Watch the video here:

The J&K Governor was speaking at the inauguration of the Kargil Ladakh tourism festival 2019 at Khree Sultan Choo stadium.

However, Satya Pal Malik clarified saying that he had spoken in a fit of anger and frustration due to rampant corruption. Speaking to news agency ANI, he said: "As Governor, I should have not made such a comment, but my personal feeling is the same as I said. Many political leaders and big bureaucrats are steeped in corruption here."

Former chief minister of J&K Omar Abdullah slammed the Governor for telling militants to kill the politicians perceived to be corrupt. Taking to Twitter, Omar Abdullah said: "This man, ostensibly a responsible man occupying a constitutional position, tells militants to kill politicians perceived to be corrupt. Perhaps the man should find out about his own reputation in Delhi these days before sanctioning unlawful killings & kangaroo courts."

omar abdullah on twitter

"Save this tweet - after today any mainstream politician or serving/retired bureaucrat killed in J&K has been murdered on the express orders of the Governor of J&K Satyapal Malik," tweeted Omar Abdullah.

Malik also expressed satisfaction over the change in the ground situation in Kashmir, saying that the people are now talking of peace. The governor said: "Our estimates are that at present there are 250 militants including 125 foreign militants. During encounters, the foreign militant takes two days to die and the local two hours. LTTE was once the most powerful terrorist organisation in the world. Where is it today?"

Speaking about Home Minister Amit Shah's visit to Kashmir Valley, Malik said it was for the first time in 30 years that there was no strike on the visit of the home minister.