BJP minister in Mufti's new government is murder accused

Sunil Sharma, a BJP member was allegedly involved in the 2008 communal riots in J&K.

Srinagar: Four new faces have been inducted into the Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP- BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir. One of them, BJP’s Sunil Kumar Sharma who took oath as a minister of state in Monday’s swearing in ceremony in Jammu is a murder accused. He had faced criminal charges for his alleged involvement in the 2008 communal riots in eastern Kishtwar district of the State.

Mr. Sharma was elected to the State Assembly from home constituency Kishtwar in the November-December 2014 elections. His name is recorded in an FIR (No. 133/08) registered at Kishtwar police station as a member of the group that had allegedly attacked people from the other community, killing two persons and leaving several others injured during the communal clashes in Kishtwar in 2008. The case against him is registered Sections 7/27 of Arms Act, 302, 436, 188, 435, 336, 149, 153 of the Ranbir Penal Code.

The other new face from the saffron party is Sham Lal Choudhary who took oath as a cabinet rank minister.

The PDP dropped four of its members who served as ministers in the previous PDP-BJP coalition government headed by Mufti Muhammad Sayeed. They are Syed Altaf Bukhari and Javed Mustafa Mir, both cabinet rank ministers, and Muhammad Ashraf Mir and Abdul Majid Padder who were ministers of state in the previous dispensation.

Bukhari, Ashraf Mir and Padder were first time ministers where as Javed Mustafa Mir had been a minister also in the PDP-Congress coalition government which took over the reins with Mufti Muhammad Sayeed as Chief Minister in 2002. He won three elections in a row from home constituency Chadoora.

A new face from the PDP is Syed Farooq Andrabi, MLA Dooru of southern Anantnag district. Andrabi who has been inducted as a minister of state is Ms. Mufti’s aunt’s husband.

BJP also dropped two ministers Sukhnanadan Kumar and Pawan Gupta who served as cabinet rank and minister of state in the previous government. They have been replaced by Shayam Lal Chaudhary and Ajay Nanda, respectively. Mr. Gupta represented Udhampur constituency, the seat he won as an independent in the 2014 elections but later pledged his support to the BJP. Choudhary and Nanda are MLAs from Suchetgarh and Reasi, respectively.

In the new council of ministers there are nine cabinet rank ministers including Chief Minister from PDP and eight including deputy chief minister from the BJP and three each ministers of state from the alliance partners.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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