Omar shoe-thrower was once awarded for bravery | india | Hindustan Times
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Omar shoe-thrower was once awarded for bravery

Suspended head constable Abdul Ahad Jan reportedly left his Bandipora home on a motorcycle on Sunday morning, grabbed a black flag from a nearby market, rode for more than 40 km to Srinagar's Bakshi Stadium and flung a shoe at Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. Peerzada Ashiq reports.

india Updated: Aug 15, 2010 23:13 IST
Peerzada Ashiq

Suspended head constable Abdul Ahad Jan reportedly left his Bandipora home on a motorcycle on Sunday morning, grabbed a black flag from a nearby market, rode for more than 40 km to Srinagar's Bakshi Stadium and flung a shoe at Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

But Jan, who also waved the flag and shouted pro-freedom slogans on Sunday, had been awarded a cash prize in 1992 for saving the lives of senior police officers in a militant attack in Srinagar.

A police spokesperson said that Jan, who was admitted to a hospital on Sunday for "hypertension", was suspended in May for being drunk on duty.

The spokesperson added that Jan was undergoing psychiatric treatment at a hospital. But Jan's family members denied the police's claim that he was mentally disturbed.

"It is propaganda that he is mentally unsound," said Jan's nephew Gulzar Ahmad.

"It was right on his part to throw a shoe in response to what is happening in Kashmir," Ahmad said.

After the noon prayers at a local mosque on Friday, Jan is believed to have made an announcement urging people to protest against the "atrocities and killing of civilians".

Hundreds of people thronged his house at Ajas in Bandipora on Sunday in his support. Jan has already become something of a celebrity on some online Kashmiri social networking groups.

Police sources said that even before Jan was suspended, he was disgruntled for not being promoted.

One of Jan's two sons was allegedly linked to a militant group in the past and was behind bars for several months.