Srinagar: Under fire over the alleged custodial death of a National Conference worker, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Monday, accused the Opposition of levelling unsubstantiated allegations against him and said that they will be served a defamation notice for accusing him of murder.
Speaking to reporters after the state Assembly was adjourned for the day after it witnessed pandemonium over the issue, Omar said, “My silence is being mistaken for culpability. I have sought a judicial inquiry and requested the Chief Justice of the High Court that this inquiry be conducted by a sitting judge of the HC; if we had anything to hide there is no way we would have ordered an inquiry.”
Syed Mohammad Yousuf (55), a NC worker from South
Kashmir`s Anantnag district, died allegedly in police custody
on September 29 after two fellow party workers had accused him
of taking Rs 1.18 crore from them for getting them berths in
the Legislative Council.
According to the government version, the accused was
summoned to the camp office of the Chief Minister where he was
confronted with the allegation about taking money.
Yousuf had admitted to taking money after which he was
handed over to IGP Crime Branch for further investigation.
However, he complained of nausea while on way to the
Crime Branch office. He was taken to a hospital where he died
of cardiac arrest, the government version said.
But the Opposition, especially the PDP, holds the view that Yousuf was beaten up and tortured inside the CM’s residence following which he died of cardiac arrest. PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said, “For the first time we have a CM who himself interrogates someone and then executes him. If this is what happens inside the CM’s residence then one can image the condition of security in the state.”
Clarifying on the issue, Omar said, “I have acted responsibility as is being required by me as CM. While it is very easy to level allegations the facts must be allowed to state themselves.” He added, “Without the post-mortem report how was it possible for the opposition to allege torture?”
“If such allegations of torture are substantiated somebody would be held accountable, but it is not correct to make allegations without any medical reports,” he said further.
He requested the Opposition and the media to have faith in the process of judicial inquiry, while also announcing that he will himself depose before the probe panel if required.
“I will have no hesitation in presenting myself before this commission. I have no doubts that facts would speak for themselves,” he said.