Kashmir custodial death: Government rubbishes PDP charges

October 1st, 2011 - 11:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Oct 1 (IANS) The Jammu and Kashmir government Saturday said the allegations levelled against it by opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) regarding the death of a ruling National Conference (NC) leader were speculative and unfounded.

Former deputy chief minister and PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig told reporters Saturday that Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, his father Farooq Abdullah and the state’s junior Home Minister Nasir Aslam Wani should resign so that the judicial probe ordered into the mysterious death of Haji Muhammad Yusuf could proceed impartially.

Reacting sharply to the allegations, an official statement issued here said: “Mr.Baig’s statements…are baseless and a figment of his imagination which does not deserve to be taken cognizance of.”

“The state government and the chief minister are committed to a transparent, credible investigation of the incident and that is why a judicial probe by a judge of the high court has been ordered,” it added.

Yusuf, an NC leader and a land dealer from south Kashmir’s Bijbehara town, died allegedly in police custody here Friday.

He had been detained for questioning by the state police’s crime branch along with two other middle-rung leaders of the party, Abdul Salam Rishi and Muhammad Yusuf Bhat, who had alleged that Yusuf had taken a bribe of Rs.1.18 crore from them for getting one a minister’s post and the other a legislator’s seat.

The government said Yusuf had died in the local police hospital due to a heart attack Friday morning after he complained of nausea.

The PDP has alleged that Yusuf died under mysterious circumstances after he was called to the house of the chief minister to explain his position.

Omar Abdullah has said Yusuf and the other two people who accused him of taking bribe from them were taken for questioning by the police.

Three security personnel, including two deputy superintendents of police, have been shifted out of the chief minister’s security team. However, the state government has termed these transfers routine.

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