Custodial death: I won`t be caged in, says Omar

In a sharp counter-attack against opposition PDP, J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday dubbed the party as "utterly irresponsible".

Srinagar: In a sharp counter-attack against
opposition PDP, J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday dubbed the party as "utterly irresponsible" and told it
bluntly that he was not "going to be caged in" by their
"vicious" campaign for his ouster.

"They have always been uncomfortable with me. They have
never loved the idea of my being the Chief Minister," Omar
said in answer to questions on PDP`s demand for his
resignation in the wake of the death of a National Conference
(NC) worker Haji Syed Yusuf in police custody.

PDP led by father-daughter duo of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed
and Mehbooba Mufti "was willing to sacrifice everything to
keep me out of power", he said, adding, "it will do anything
to topple my government irrespective of consequences for them
or for the state".

Recalling the political manoeuvres that followed the 2008
assembly elections in which none of the three principal
parties, Congress, NC or PDP, got a clear majority, Omar said
that PDP had made offers to the Congress to be part of a
coalition in which they would even not take any ministries.

Therefore, PDP`s bitterness against NC was not
surprising, "but they do not realise that I am not going to be
caged in like this," Omar said.

It was "deeply frustrating" for PDP that the state under
NC-Congress coalition government had one of its best years in
decades in terms of development, peace and tourism, he said.

The fact that the state had had extremely successful
elections to Panchayats who had now been empowered, "was
something they are uncomfortable with", Omar said.

Ruling out his resignation, the Chief Minister said he
would not yield to "enemies" wanting to topple him for doing
his duty to the people of the state.

"That is not the way I am made. I have been taught
differently by my parents. I went to a school whose motto was
`never give in` and I definitely am not going to give in on
this," he said.

Omar was asked a number of questions on the events of
September 29 when Yusuf and two other NC workers had been
called to his residence in Srinagar. The two workers, Abdul
Salam Reshi and Mohammed Yusuf Bhat, had complained that Yusuf
had taken over Rs one crore from them for getting them
membership of legislative council or ministerships.

Narrating that day`s events at his official residence,
Omar said that when he found that the allegation against Yusuf
was of a serious nature to merit a police case, he had
immediately asked Minister of State for Home Nasir Wani to
call the IG (Crime) Raja Aijaz and hand the three over to him
so that the police could proceed in this matter.

"As far as I was concerned, my involvement in this case
ended at that point. It is only unfortunate that the next day
Haji Yusuf died of a massive heart attack and the political
opposition has tried to make a controversy out of it," he


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