GC Murmu, Appointed First J&K L-G, Has a Controversial Record
Murmu is accused of suppressing investigations in the 2002 riots case.
IAS officer Girish Chandra Murmu was appointed the first Lieutenant Governor of Jammu-Kashmir on Friday, 25 October. The current governor of the state, Satya Pal Malik, is being transferred and appointed as Governor of Goa.
Murmu, a 1985-batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre, will be administered oath of office on 31 October in Srinagar after which he will become the region’s administrative head.
He is expected to lead the Modi administration’s efforts to return Jammu and Kashmir to normalcy and attract investment to the UT while keeping a check on militancy.
Not A Clean Record
The 59-year-old IAS officer who hails from Sundargarh district in Odisha, holds a Masters Degree from Utkal University in Bhubaneshwar and an MBA from UK's University of Birmingham.
In September 2013 Murmu was questioned by the CBI in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.
In June, the same year, Tehelka published an exposé, that detailed on a recording in the hands of the Central Bureau of Investigation between then junior home minister Praful Patel, then Additional Principal Secretary GC Murmu, senior law officer Kamal Trivedi and two others. In the audio, the participants had allegedly discussed ways to cover up the crime.
Murmu is also accused of suppressing investigations in the 2002 riots.
When he was tipped to become ED director in 2015, former DGP of Gujarat RB Sreekumar called attention to inquiries pending against him for “trying to influence officers against deposing truthfully before the Justice Nanavati Commission of inquiry into the 2002 Gujarat riots”, a report published by The Wire states.
Sreekumar also claimed that he was forced by Murmu to commit perjury, saying the latter had been authorised by ‘highest authorities’ to tutor government officials before the deposition.
Modi’s Trusted Confidante
In 2017, GC Murmu was appointed special secretary in the Department of Revenue. A senior Gujarat bureaucrat, he is considered to be a trusted confidante of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Formerly joint secretary in Department of Expenditure, his appointment at the time was cleared by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet headed by the prime minister in 2015. Additionally, he has served as the principle secretary to PM Modi and secretary of the Home Department during Modi’s tenure as chief minister.
He was also a key figure in Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s team handling the 2019 Union budget.
“Murmu is a very focussed, hard-working bureaucrat, who always maintained a low profile. He is a seasoned officer, who has worked across various departments in the central and as well as in the state government," a retired bureaucrat who had worked with him told Livemint.
(With inputs from Livemint and The Wire)
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