Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, 38, on Thursday “owned responsibility” for what went wrong in the initial stages after the Shopian incident of May 30 when two young women were raped and murdered.
In an exclusive interview to HT, Abdullah said: “As the head of government, I own the responsibility for what went wrong in the initial stages (of the Shopian probe.”
“The initial reaction of the government created an impression that we wanted to cover up things, but that was not the case. In fact, I was trying to get to the facts. That’s why I ordered a judicial inquiry,” he added.
The Bomai case (in which in which soldiers killed two civilians on February 21, and the government got the culprits identified and a process to prosecute them was set in motion) is a classic case study of how a government should react to such a situation, while the Shopian case was one of how it shouldn’t, he said.
Was Shopian, then, his baptism by fire? “For me, Bomai was the baptism by fire. But Shopian will prove our intent and credentials,” he said.
The government has set up a judicial commission to inquire into the incident. One of its terms of reference is to comment on the government’s reaction to the incident.
He felt the media had been “unfair at times”.
But for now, he wants to bring the Shopian case to a closure. “We want speedy investigations,” he said.