New Delhi: The Union Home Ministry has denied allegation that Padma Shri awardee Ghulam Mohammed Mir is an ex-terrorist.
Home Ministry sources claim Mir was never a terrorist, but is a nationalist who fought terrorists operating in Jammu and Kashmir.
The sources also said that the Mir was recommended for Padma Shri by Central Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah and Union New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah.
The state government though denied any knowledge of Mir being recommended for a Padma award with Chief minister Omar Abdullah saying he had no idea about the recommendation.
"It is possible that a personal level somebody recommend him. I enquired from the senior level officers of state government. No recommendation from the state level had gone for the Padma award. I am not aware about the recommendation," said Omar.
However, questions have been raised about Mir's antecedents. State police sources reveal that Mir has been an informer for security forces.
He used to run a private militia to counter insurgency and has several cases registered against him.
In 2001, an FIR was filed against Mir and a BSF DIG in an attempted murder case. He is also accused of illegally occupying land in his native village and his name has been linked to cases of alleged timber smuggling as well.
Mir's private militia has been accused of extortion and intimidation on several occasions.