Mehbooba's Charges Wild, Will Sue Her: CM3 October 2011
The Hindustan Times
Srinagar: Under opposition fire over the alleged custodial death of a party worker, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah Monday tried to take the war to the PDP camp. He threatened to sue People's Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti for claiming he was involved in the death of Syed Mohammad Yusuf, a worker of the National Conference (NC). Speaking at a hurriedly convened press conference, Abdullah said he was ready to appear before the panel inquiring the matter. On October 1, the government ordered a judicial inquiry into Yusuf's death. 'The allegations against me are baseless and false,' he said after the House was adjourned for the day over the issue. 'I have talked to my lawyer and will file a defamation case against Mufti for making wild allegations.' He had decided not to speak until the inquiry was complete, but had to break his silence 'because it was being used against me', the CM said. A land dealer from south Kashmir's Bijbehara town, 61-year-old Yusuf, died on September 30, allegedly in police custody. A day earlier, the CM had summoned him and two party workers - Mohammad Yousuf Bhat and Abdul Salam Rishi - to his camp office at Gupkar Road in Srinagar. Bhat and Rishi had earlier during the day accused Yusuf of taking Rs 1.2 crore from them, promising berths in the council of ministers and legislative council. The three were handed over to the crime branch, in whose custody Yusuf allegedly died. The government said he died of a heart attack in the police hospital. Yusuf died under mysterious circumstances after he was called to the chief minister's camp office, the PDP alleged. Mufti said Abdullah, his father union minister, Farooq Abdullah, and minister of state for home Nasir Aslam Wani were responsible for the death as Yusuf 'knew too much'. A preliminary postmortem report released by the government on Monday evening said Yusuf died of 'cardio-respiratory arrest'. The CM refuted the allegation that Yusuf was tortured at his residence, pointing to a CCTV footage of the NC worker hours before he died. Released on October 1, the footage shows Yusuf enter and leave Abdullah's camp office at 6.13pm on September 29, accompanied by Wani. 'We have requested the chief justice of the Jammu and Kashmir high court to appoint a sitting judge to conduct the inquiry,' he said, adding people should wait for findings before raising questions.