ibnlive » India

Jul 11, 2009 at 11:27am IST

J-K CM Omar admits Shopian crisis mishandled

New Delhi: Under immense pressure over Shopian double rape and murder case, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Friday, admitted for the first time that he had committed a “mistake” in handling the crisis.

Speaking exclusively to CNN-IBN, Abdullah said he had learnt “serious lessons” from the Shopian incident.

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“This was a mistake we intend not to repeat during the course of this government,” Abdullah told CNN-IBN.

The CM confessed that his government had been misinformed about the incident by the officers dealing with the situation in the ground. “I made the mistake of relying on wrong information," Omar Abdullah said.

He denied reports that the Shopian incident had strained relations between the National Conference (NC) and Congress party. “I have met the PM and held discussions with him on all issues and there is no strain at all.”

He said the Jammu and Kashmir government was fully committed to providing justice to the family members of the Shopian victims.

“I hope this report and action taken by the government will be seen as justice done.”

But the CM denied that there were any serious law and order problems in the state.

“These are local law and order problems and it cannot be said that entire state is facing problems, ” the CM told CNN-IBN.

Abdullah said he was willing to face criticism and learn from it.

“My mother told me if you can’t take the heat then don’t be there in the kitchen. I can take criticism as long as it’s well-meaning and objective. But it doesn’t deter me from doing my job. I’m committed to the people of the state and the country at large,” Abdullah reiterated.

Meanwhile, the commission probing the rape and murder of two women in Shopian town in south Kashmir on May 30 has submitted has its report.

Justice (retired) Muzaffar Jan, who conducted the enquiry for the commission had submitted a 150-page final report July 7.

It has recommended that the five officials suspended after the crime be booked as accused. The commission was set up to probe the deaths of Nilofar Jan, 22, and her sister-in-law, Asiya Jan, 17. The bodies of the two unfortunate victims were found by the police beside a stream near Shopian town on May 30.

Jammu and Kashmir Finance and Law Minister Abdul Rahim Rather said that the commission's interim report had held the five suspended officials guilty of destroying evidence.

The valley had seen numerous protests and bandhs as separatists created a law and order situation over the unsolved murders. Police and government had initially said the two women had drowned until an autopsy confirmed that they had been raped and murdered.

Even the annual Amarnath Yatra faced roadblocks as the Jammu and Kashmir region had seethed with angry protests.