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J&K: Row over NC worker's custodial death

Oct 02, 2011 11:05 PM IST Politics Politics

Srinagar: The ruling National Conference government in Jammu and Kashmir is on the backfoot following the death of a party worker in police custody. The victim's family has been alleging foul play and the Opposition has been demanding Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's resignation.

Two days after the death of National Conference party worker Saeed Yousuf in police custody, the government top brass has come out to defend Omar Abdullah. It even released a CCTV camera video showing Yousuf leaving the Chief Minister's house to show he didn't die there. Sources say the Chief Minister had handed over Yousuf to the crime department for collecting nearly Rs 1 crore from two people promising them a ministerial berth and a place in the state legislative council.

Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather on Sunday defended the Chief Minister and said, "The government has ordered a judicial probe and we have written to the Chief Justice to provide us a sitting judge. Investigations would be fair. I request the PDP to desist from politicising the issue."

The Opposition PDP has alleged that corruption in the government led to the Yousuf's mysterious death and demanded the resignations of the Chief Minister, his father and National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah and the state home minister

The government maintains that Yousuf died of natural causes. Four policemen including the Chief Minister's personal security officer have been suspended.

The tirade from the Opposition has forced the Omar Abdullah government on the backfoot, but it seems there would be no let off in the coming days. The Opposition PDP has decided to sharpen its knives when they meet in the Assembly on Monday.