Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam has triggered a political storm in Jammu and Kashmir by stating that “not a single soul cried” over the detention of political and separatist leaders in August last year when Article 370 was abrogated.

Irked over the issue, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alleged that the top bureaucrat had given the statement on the backing of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Sad state of affairs when a top bureaucrat no less than Chief Secretary takes pride in dismantling & discrediting mainstream in #Kashmir and brags about @PMOIndia @narendramodi backing”.

The controversy erupted on Saturday when news reports were published of the chief secretary telling some visiting journalists that; “Jammu and Kashmir was a broken state and there was no system in place due to years of misgovernance, corruption and unbelievable levels of fraud committed by leaders of mainstream parties and separatist organisations. There, not a single soul cried over the detention of political and separatist leaders in August last year.”

PDP lashed out at Chief Secretary Subrahmaniam, terming his remarks “uncalled for and utterly flagitious”.

In a statement, PDP spokesman said that the Chief Secretary has come here with a “colonial mindset” and acts as chief executioner of RSS in Kashmir”.  He said that it was ironical that he is finding fault with the entire population of Jammu and Kashmir while running the most corrupt administration that the state has ever witnessed, the party alleged.

According to the PDP spokesman, the Chief Secretary is “heading a cabal of officers who are affiliated with RSS and are enforcing their agenda in Kashmir”. He said that IAS has never stooped to this low.

“CS should first explain to the people what happened to the multi-crore health insurance scam affecting five lakh government employees in Jammu and Kashmir? Who was responsible for taking that scam to the administrative council? And why was that all of a sudden scrapped and what action has been taken against the involved officers? What has happened to the Chinab valley power corporation scams and why were those first approved and later canceled? Who were the officers involved?” said the spokesman.

He added that BJP and its chosen bureaucrats in Kashmir are not only heaping insults, humiliation, and atrocities on the people of Jammu and Kashmir but they are also misleading and exploiting the so-called nationalist sentiments in rest of the country.

Peoples Conference leader Imran Reza Ansari also vented his annoyance over the issue by tweeting: “CS J&K-takes pride in dismantling, discrediting mainstream”. “So MR CS. Now u have been here for two years. And u have been the boss. Wonder how many people will cry if u r arrested. Hope u focus on ur job rather than dabbling in politics. Please for god’s sake do your job what you are best.

In a strongly-worded statement, CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami described the Chief Secretary’s statement blaming politicians for corruption “highly un-warranted”.

“We want to ask him (CS) what his administration has done to eradicate corruption in J&K for the last more than two years when there is no elected government in the region. Leveling baseless allegations against politicians without any credible evidence is fraught with serious consequences”.

“Bureaucrats come and go and it is not the mandate of a CS to level baseless allegations against elected representatives,” Tarigami said.

“If frauds have been committed by some persons who have remained in authority, what stops the administration to make those public and book the offenders? We had been demanding transparency in the functioning of each branch of the administration including J&K Bank for a long time and bringing it under the ambit of legislature and Right to Information Act (RTI). Time and again we demanded it on the floor of the Assembly as well,” he said.