According to officers close to Raj Bhawan, in some of the recent high-level meetings, Manoj Sinha expressed his anger on the behaviour of police with common people and also asked the chief secretary to make a list of all those officers who have pending complaints against them.
Some of the recent decisions taken by Sinha in Jammu and Kashmir are bold and out-of-the-box and have consequences both on the political and administrative front, said a senior journalist from Jammu. In an interaction with media persons at Jammu some weeks back, Sinha had assured them that there would be no witch hunt against journalists for exposing corrupt practices in the administration and also in the police set up.
On Wednesday, against the reported advice of police and the administration, he visited the families of three Rajouri youth who were killed in Amshipora, Shopian, in a fake encounter.
He even walked half a kilometer on foot to convey to the families that they will get justice at any cost. According to an official spokesman of the J&K government in a press statement, “He also conveyed the message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the government stands with the aggrieved families in their hour of grief, and they will be taken care of with all support from the government.”
Similarly, recently when an advocate Baber Qadri was killed by suspected gunmen at his Hawal residence in a downtown area of Srinagar, Sinha surprised even Kashmir politicians when he visited the family in this highly volatile area to express his condolences.
He assured the family of a fair probe and also promised all support from the government, conveying it clearly to all that he will not tolerate any civilian killing by the gun of any side.
“The path chosen by Manoj Sinha is strewn with challenges and difficulties. It is not easy in Kashmir to go against the police and security establishment. The way he monitored the probe into the Shopian encounter suggests that he may have to retract from this path,” a senior political analyst and local editor of an English daily told this reporter. He said that many people in the past were very keen that the Raj Bhawan bridges the gap between the Centre and Srinagar, but they failed and they were forced by the circumstances to trek on the path of praising the security establishment despite all their shortcomings.
Manoj Sinha has really stuck his neck out and it would be a challenge for him to walk on this bold path, as he will face a lot of challenges from police and the administration of Jammu and Kashmir while he will try to set right the system. Will he conquer the steel chest in Jammu and Kashmir or wilt under pressure, is the million dollar question for all Kashmir watchers.