Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah speaks on the issue of the mysterious death of a National Conference worker, Muhammad Syed Yusuf in custody.
Omar Abdullah’s Statement:
I have a brief statement to make I will try as far as possible to repeat the same statement in Urdu after that. I will not be taking any questions at the end of the statement.
Certain incidents took place on the evening of last Friday and Saturday morning. Consciously I remained silent because in a previous case wherein good faith I shared preliminary information with the media at that time I was accused of having prejudiced an enquiry that the government had ordered. It is a fact that two of my party workers came to see me, last week on Friday, levelling allegations against the third worker over extremely serious nature. In the interest of transparency and fair play I decided to call all three, the two making the allegation and the person against whom the allegation was being made together. I also called the Minister of State for Home to be present there, realizing the criminal nature of the allegations that were being levelled. Upon realization of the seriousness and the magnitude of the allegation, I immediately referred the matter to the Crime Branch of J &K (Jammu and Kashmir) police and asked them to proceed in this matter on the basis of the facts that they would ascertain as a result of their investigation. What followed after that with the death of Muhammad Syed Yusuf was extremely unfortunate but what has been even more unfortunate than that is the way in which facts have been twisted, distorted and presented in a completely unrelated manner to the actual facts of the case. Instead of appreciating the fact that I suo motto took action on serious allegations of corruption against one of, against an individual who was associated with the National Conference. It has in turn somehow been suggested that I or colleagues of mine have been involved in criminal activity to the extent that certain supposedly responsible political leaders have gone so far as to suggest that I could possibly be involve in a case of murder. Recognising the gravity of the situation, the government ordered a judicial enquiry and has requested the Chief Justice that this enquiry should be conducted by a sitting judge of the High Court. I think it’s important to understand that if we had anything to hide there is no way we would have ordered an enquiry and that too a judicial enquiry by a high court judge. The fact of the matter is that I acted as responsibly as I was expected to. As Chief Minister a case was brought to my notice recognising the gravity of that case I referred the matter to the crime branch. While it is very easy to make assumptions and to level allegations, I think in this matter the facts must be allowed to speak for themselves. Without recourse to the post-mortem report how it is possible for either sections of the political leadership of the state or sections of the media to determine that the deceased was tortured is beyond my comprehension. If in any way such allegations of torture are substantiated by either the preliminary or the final post-mortem report than obviously somebody will be held accountable for that but in the absence of any sort of medical reports to level such wild and unsubstantiated allegations against my person or against any colleagues of mine I believe is beneath contempt and is highly unfortunate. All I will say is that I have the absolute, total and complete faith in the process of the judicial enquiry. I am awaiting very keenly the establishment of this judicial commission of enquiry. I will have no hesitation in presenting myself before this commission I will answer whatever questions are posed to me and I have no doubt that as a result of this judicial commission of enquiry the facts will speak for themselves and all the lies that I have been bombarded with since Friday of last week will be shown for what they are which is absolute lies and beneath contempt. Today in the course of an interaction with sections of the media outside this assembly complex the President (Mehbooba Mufti) of the single largest opposition party levelled certain grave and very serious allegations against my person and against the person of Dr. Farooq Abdullah. I am not going to respond to these allegations either through the press or in person. I am already in touch with my lawyers and my lawyers will respond to these allegations in the form of a defamation notice which will be taken to its logical conclusion. The only request I have, because obviously any request to political leaderships will fall on deaf ears, the only request I can make to the media is please allow the facts to speak for themselves. Don’t editorialise or distort facts, no effort has been spared to ensure that the truth is made known. All that is requested of you is that you allow the judicial commission of enquiry to conclude its findings, make those findings known, whatever is the result of those findings will be shared with you. Any action deemed necessary after that will be taken.