National Conference worker Abdul Salam Rishi on Thursday contested the state government’s version that he had met Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah regarding the “fixing” activities of his late party colleague Syed Mohammad Yusuf on September 29.
Instead, Rishi said the meeting took place in July and the CM knew of the matter a good two months ago.
Hindustan Times reported on October 4 that Rishi and another NC member, Mohammed Yousuf Bhat, met Omar on September 29 with a complaint that Yusuf had taken Rs1.2 crore as gratification for getting them membership to the legislative council (for Rishi) and a ministerial post (for Bhat). The chief minister then summoned Yusuf and handed over the three to the police.Yusuf was found dead in hospital the next day, of a heart attack, according to the government, which has ordered a judicial probe. Yusuf’s family has alleged that he was a victim of police torture.
Rishi said he paid his part of the bribe — Rs34 lakh — after Yusuf put him in touch with NC patron Farooq Abdullah.
"I was introduced to both Farooq and Omar Abdullah by Yusuf. He came to my residence with the chief minister in a chopper. He also took me to meet Farooq Abdullah at his Jammu residence," Rishi told HT. The relationship between Rishi and Yusuf reportedly soured when the latter could not keep his promise, though Rishi said he got back Rs20 lakh of the money he spent through the CM’s intercession. The Abdullahs denied the allegations. Farooq criticised the opposition and son Omar lashed out at a section of the media: "All you'll have are endless visuals of me driving in and out of places, which won't help TRPs.”