Omar threatens resignation after PDP’s sex scandal slur (Second Lead)

July 28th, 2009 - 3:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, July 28 (IANS) Declaring that he could not work till his name was cleared, an emotional Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah threatened to resign Tuesday over allegations by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that he was involved in a sex scandal.
There was high drama in the assembly as Abdullah said he would step down and not return till the slur was removed. Members of his National Conference surrounded him and tried to physically stop him from leaving, but a determined Abdullah strode out of the house.

In the sensational sex scandal that rocked the state in 2006, a minor girl in Srinagar had accused senior politicians, bureaucrats, paramilitary and police officers of raping her.

Following the public outrage, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court intervened and directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to handle the probe. The CBI later presented a chargesheet and a trial is underway at a sessions court in Punjab.

On Tuesday, the scandal came back to haunt Kashmiri politicians.

Senior PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig submitted a list of what he said was the accused in the case prepared by the CBI. According to Baig, Abdullah’s name was 102 in the list.

Immediately after this, Abdullah got up and said he could not continue functioning as the chief minister under such circumstances.

“After the proceedings of the house today, I will go to the governor and submit my resignation. I cannot work as the chief minister until my name is cleared from the list of the accused persons,” a charged Abdullah said.

After he left the assembly, his party members followed him out in a bid to persuade him to change his mind and not act in haste.

Abdullah went to his residence in Gupkar Road to mull his next move. His father Farooq Abdullah, the National Conference president and union minister for renewable energy, who happened to be in Srinagar and was returning to Delhi, turned back from the airport in view of the crisis. A final decision will be taken after consulting him, informed sources said.

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