Can’t Take Action Against My Minister on Mere Allegations: Omar

SRINAGAR: Declining to comment over the statements made by Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on state health sector and ‘poor’ relief work in earthquake hit areas of Chenab Valley, Omar Abdullah said that media always twist the facts and it was better not to believe in everything what media reports.

“I have regular conversation with Union Health Minister and he has expressed no such views to me. Therefore, I will not comment on the views that have been made available through the press because my own experience has been that such views are often twisted and presented in a manner to create trouble,” Abdullah said and added that he was sure if there are any positive suggestions that Union Health Minister has to make either with regard to relief activities of erstwhile Doda District or with regard to on-going investigation in fake drug scandal, “as Union Minister and elected representative of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, he will make those views available but I will not comment on what has been said through press,” he said.

Refusing to share initial findings over Kot Bhalwal prison attack, Omar Abdullah termed the incident unfortunate. “It should not have happened. More so, in light of the advisory that had been put out and the instructions issued by my MoS Home to prison department that care is taken where Indian and Pakistani prisoners are lodged together,” he said adding that he has information about the incident but was not going to share that with the press.

“I have information available to me as to the circumstances of this attack but I have learnt a valuable lesson of not sharing the initial findings with you because I paid a very heavy price of sharing initial findings with you in the matter of Shopian alleged rape case. You had taken those initial findings as final pronouncement which they were not,” Abdullah said and added that certain steps have already been initiated.

“Jail superintendent and some other officials have already been suspended. A time bound enquiry has been ordered headed by Principal Secretary Home and we all hope that Sonaullah makes a complete recovery,” he said.

While replying to a question over the fake drug menace, Omar Abdullah said that the Health and Medical Education Department are looked after by two separate ministers and both the ministers are now working closely together to ensure that the lacuna in the system are completely wiped out and such incidents of fake drugs been available to patients are entirely and completely stopped immediately.

“We are also enquiring into the matter. The Vigilance Organization has been asked to enquire the matter. Other wings of the government are also conducting parallel enquiries to ensure that facts are made available,” Abdullah said.

He assured people that this enquiry will be complete and will not stop at any level. “We will make sure that responsibility wherever it lies be fixed and this is not repeated. “It is an ongoing investigation and at this point of time I am not going to share the information whatever is available with me but one thing I want to make people ensure that investigation will not stop,” he said.

Omar Abdullah admitted that there is shortage of testing facilities. “The government testing laboratories do not have the capacity to deal with the kind of number of tests that need to be conducted and therefore we are urgently looking at the possibility of private public partnership in establishing laboratories for testing of medicines and drugs,” he said.

Chief Minister made a vehement appeal to civil society people to come forward help the government in establishing such laboratories.

Omar said he lacks the luxury of acting against his cabinet colleagues simply on allegations. “There was an allegation against one of my senior ministers that he has acquired property outside country. We got the allegation investigated through vigilance and they could not trace any property,” Omar said and added that he has no coalition compulsion. “Any minister can face the music if found guilty,” he said. (CNS)

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