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Omar Abdullah breaks down in Assembly

The Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah broke down in legislative assembly over the killing of a youth by Army in Baramulla today. Amir Karim Tantray reports.Omar breaks down in assemblyvideo-icon
Hindustan Times | By Amir Karim Tantray, Jammu
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2013 12:33 AM IST

The Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah broke down in legislative assembly over the killing of a youth by Army in Baramulla on Tuesday.

With tears rolling, writ of expressions written all over his face, he was mum for two minutes.

His silence dawned on the entire assembly, with every legislator and bureaucrat went into mode of introspection, as if questioning the present set of things.

"While sitting on this chair of the chief minister, I am feeling helpless when my people are being killed. These are my people and I belong to this state. What reply I will give to people?" emotional Omar said after regaining control.

Taking a dig at central government and people who are against revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from certain areas where violence level has come down, Omar said, "I am not mad as I demand revoking of AFSPA."

Without naming Army, he demanded, "They need to answer as why they opened fire and what was the need. As per my information there was no militant in the procession and if somebody had stone in his hands it is not new thing."

When the news of the killing of youth came to assembly, PDP members of legislative assembly demanded information on the event from government.

Law minister Mir Saifullah provided the information that Tahir Rasool Sofi was killed when Army opened fire on protestors in Baramulla.

PDP members and independent MLA from Langate Engineer Abdul Rashid protested against incomplete information and demanded answer as for what fault why he was killed.

When he was marshalled away on speaker's direction, the PDP members staged walkout from assembly.

Reacting to this, Omar said, "PDP members did no wrong by staging walkout as it was their way of protest but I can't walkout being a chief minister. I also have resentment and am asking the same question to myself as why he (Sofi) was killed?"

Maintaining that he can't go to people of the state every now and then to demand apology for every killing, the chief minister said, "Have I taken the flag in my hand to seek apology for every killing again and again? My heart goes out for the family and I can't heel their wounds."

Demanding answer for the killing, Omar said, "I can't do politics and can only raise voice against the killing. I will knock every door to seek but will ensure that family gets justice."

Expressing displeasure, the chief minister said that he can't get their son back. Slamming PDP for blaming him on every killing and incident, Omar said, "A person is hanged or killed somewhere but people blame me."

"I wish everything was in my hand, which is not and former chief minister know this well," Omar said, while expressing his helplessness on the killing of youth.

The chief minister said that he is tried now and whatever good he has done for the state has gone waste after the hanging of Afzal Guru and killing of youth.

Omar was supposed to address reply on the Governor's address but he said, "I can't talk on roads, power and other thing at a time when my people get killed. I can't reply on questioned raised by MLAs but will only thanks Governor."

He expressed condolence with the bereaved family.

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