Omar Turns Emotional In Assembly, Vents Frustration


SRINAGAR: Chief minister Omar Abdullah broke down in the state assembly on Tuesday when faced with criticism and walkout by opposition members over the killing of a youth in army firing on protestors in Baramulla.

Rising to reply to opposition charges, the overcome Abdullah began haltingly, and repeatedly bowed his head struggling for words, eventually to vent out his frustration in an emotional speech.

“This is why I vehemently raise the issue of the partial revocation of AFSPA so that the erring forces personnel do not go scot-free,” an official press release from Jammu quoted the chief minister as having said.

Abdullah was speaking on a statement by the law minister informing the House about the Baramulla killing.  

The chief minister said that he was himself full of anger but not in a position to walk-out like opposition members.

“You cannot feel the anger I am boiling with, and the difficulty I face in speaking right now,” he said.

“As chief minister, I have to answer for the commissions and omissions of others,” he said.  

“I have to seek apology for the actions, I am not responsible, nor anywhere related to these. I am being asked to answer the question of Afzal Guru, return of his mortal remains to his family, use of unnecessary force by Army. I have to give reply for every bullet they fire on civilians. What reply I have for my people in these matters,” the official press release quoted him as having said.

“But I will get the reply from those who are concerned with such incidents. I will seek justice for my people,” he said. 

“It is easy to say that the chief minister of the state is all powerful but only those who sit on this chair can tell you how powerful a chief minister of the state is. Let you ask this from the father of the leader of the state’s single largest opposition party, and Dr. Farooq Abdullah and Ghulam Nabi Azad who have remained chief ministers of the state,” he said, and added that some opposition member had described him as a daily wager.

“I admit we are only daily wagers, our chairs are not permanent, we have to relinquish office after completing a fixed tenure so we are of course daily wagers and I have no hesitation in accepting it,” he said.

Omar Abdullah said that though these incidents were highly painful and gave rise to strong emotions, but it was not correct to blame the country while getting carried away.  

“Wrong doing by some individuals does not call for blaming the country,” he said. 

“At this point in time when I had prepared myself to give full account of the achievements of my government while deliberating upon motion of thanks to the Governor for his address to the members of both the Houses, I am not in a position to say anything on this subject at present because a precious human life of a young person from my State has been killed and I am myself engulfed in anger and pain,” the official press release quoted him as having said.

He said that at present he would only extend his heartfelt condolence to the family who had lost a loved one.

“I also convey the condolence of this House and that of the people of the State to the bereaved family,” he said, assuring them justice.

“I cannot bring back the dear one you have lost but my heart bleeds with you and my gloom is not less than anyone of you,” he said. 

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