Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Girish Chandra Saxena died after a brief illness in the national capital, his family said. He was 90.
Saxena’s brother Naresh Chandra, former Cabinet Secretary and Ambassador to the US, said that he was rushed to a hospital in the wee hours after he complained of breathlessness.
He was declared dead at 4:30 AM, Chandra said. He was born in Agra in 1928 and is survived by his wife and two daughters.
An IPS officer of the 1950-batch of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, Saxena, who also headed country’s external intelligence agency RAW, took charge as the Jammu and Kashmir Governor for the first time on May 26, 1990 and continued in the post till March 13, 1993. He was re-appointed in 1998. He was RAW Director between 1983-86.
Saxena came to J&K after the killing of Mirwaiz Molvi Farooq, when situation had turned violent after government forces opened fire on the funeral procession of Mirwaiz that killed at least 25 people.
After his first stint as the Governor, Saxena was again brought to the state in 1998 during which his focus was on the revival of local intelligence and the state police which was not on the forefront of counter-insurgency operations then.
“No militancy can be fought without the local police,” he had said when he was the Governor in the second term.
Former J&K chief ministers Farooq and Omar Abdullah have condoled his death saying that in his departure, “a visionary has been lost.”
“I recall my association with Governor Saxena. He was very cool in extreme situations and always had a humane approach to any problem,” Farooq said.
And Omar Abdullah has said, “It’s a sad news for me. He (Saxena) had always guided me during my initial days in politics.”
After his retirement from the RAW in 1986, Saxena served as an advisor to the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi till January 1988.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti has condoled the demise of Girish Chander Saxena.
In her condolence message, the Chief Minister described late Saxena as an able administrator who left an indelible mark in the State during his gubernatorial assignments.
Mehbooba Mufti has conveyed her personal condolences to the bereaved family of Saxena, particularly his wife and two daughters.
Lovingly called as Gary Saxena, he was the Governor of the State twice from May 26, 1990 to March 12, 1993 and from May 02, 1998 to June, 04 2003.