Omar rules out resignation, will like probe in weeks5 October 2011
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Categorically asserting that he made no attempt to subvert the truth in the death of Syed Mohammad Yusuf Shah, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today ruled out his resignation either as Chief Minister or Home Minister of the State saying he saw no reasons for this. He said he had voluntarily ordered judicial inquiry into the death and would like the probe to be completed within the weeks and not months. In an interview to a news channel tonight, Mr Abdullah replied to a volley of questions ranging from questioning of Shah in his house, alleged torture, questions over the heart-attack theory, access of his and Dr Farooq Abdullah's official residence to protests by the opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) on streets. 'I see no reason why to resign as the Chief Minister or Home Minister of State. I have done nothing wrong', Omar said in response to a question. Asserting that he has absolutely no doubts about independence and impartiality of judiciary of India, he said he ordered the judicial inquiry into the death of Shah voluntarily. He added that he would like the inquiry to be completed in weeks and not months. 'I want truth to come out. At no stage, any attempt has been made to subvert the truth. I will be hurt if truth is subverted', the Chief Minister said. Taking a swipe at former Chief Minister and PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed (without naming him or his MoS Education Dr Ghulam Nabi Lone), Omar said Lone's family repeatedly asked for a CBI probe into the killing of Dr Lone when he (the Mufti) was the Chief Minister. However, the CBI probe was not ordered. Responding to a question on the allegations of Shah's family that he had no history of heart ailment, Mr Abdullah said there were many persons, much younger than Shah or him, who died of cardiac arrests without any previous history of heart related problems. Ruling out any torture to Shah in his house, he said not a finger was laid on him by anyone. 'The post-mortem on the body of Shah was conducted by a panel of doctors. No injury marks were found on the body. To the best of my knowledge, no one laid a finger at Shah in my house. I don't believe that there could be no torture marks on physical signs on the body of a person, who is beaten-up. Let us wait for the full medical report', the Chief Minister said. He asked 'had I anything to hide, why should have I ordered a judicial inquiry into the death suo moto by a High Court Judge'? Maintaining that he acted responsibly, Omar said after hearing the allegations of corruption, he called all three to his house to listen to them. Only after the allegations of corruption were leveled by two workers against Shah, who admitted having taken the money, that I found the case fit for investigations. 'I acted responsibly and handed over the case to Crime Branch', he added and said Shah was also handed over to the Crime Branch for investigations of the case. To a question by the TV channel on CCTV footage of Shah which showed his clothes as shabby when he returned from his house while he was alright when he went inside, Omar again referred to medical opinion, which has said that there were no injury marks on the body. 'If you are accused of taking ' 1 cr underhand and having admitted to that would you not be little disabled and shaken up. Would you not be disturbed with the prospect to explain about the money, where the money went'? he asked. He said Shah or anyone else were called to his house only for listening from them on the allegations of bribe given and taken and they had no access to his official residence otherwise. What happened subsequent to the handing of Shah over to the Crime Branch is extremely unfortunate. But you need to put into context that why he was asked to come to my residence. Two of my party workers leveled allegations against him of taking money amounting to over ' 1cr. I could have rejected the allegations but I decided to hear both of them in their presence. Having realized that there were enough evidence credibility in the allegations and the accused having admitted to the guilt, I thought it to be a case to be handed over to the police. Then the IG Crime came and took up the matter. That was the end to my involvement with the case,' Omar said. How would I know about the truth of the allegation? Two party workers of mine leveled allegations against a third party worker. I thought I owed a hearing to them all. Having satisfied myself that there were substance to the allegations and having the deceased admitting to the fact of taking bribe money, it came to me that the case should be handed over to the Crime Branch and I called up Crime Branch. I've delivered my duty responsibly and not listening or dismissing the allegations would have been irresponsible on my part,' Omar said. To a question on fair investigation in the case, the Chief Minister said. 'In that case the Opposition should say that they don't have faith in the judiciary. I've not asked any officer under me or police to probe this. I've turned to an institution which I believe to be objective and the Opposition should believe that to be free and fair as well that institution does not bend to any pressure or force. The judiciary is not accountable to the CM. Subverting the truth does not help me. I need the truth to come out. I want the witnesses to come out before the judicial and tell what happened there. I've no interest in subverting the rather it would hurt me.' Omar said he was extremely sorry for the tragedy that has fallen on the family of Shah. 'They were not circumstances of my making. I would have liked nothing more than this person having been alive today and facing the consequences of this action. But God had other plans in place. I hope this enquiry would make everything clear and the family would see for themselves that none of us had anything to do with their loved one. He was a colleague of ours and I'm extremely sorry that something like this had to befall them,' he added.