Yousuf Was A Crook: Omar

Yousuf Was A Crook: Omar

7 October 2011
Greater Kashmir


New Delhi: Dubbing his party worker late Sayeed Muhammad Yousuf as a crook, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Friday said he has no regrets about how he handled the case. 'Muhammed Yousuf was a crook whom I dealt with in a transparent manner' Chief Minister told a Delhi based news channel. He said every party has men like Sayeed Yousuf who will sell political proximity for favours. Yousuf an ‘influential’ NC activist allegedly died in custody after being summoned by Omar to his home on September 30 after two other members of the party Abdul Salam Reshi of Kokernag and Muhammad Yousuf Bhat of Ganderbal accused Yousuf of taking around Rs 1.18 crore from them for positions in the Legislative Council and the council of ministers. After talking to the trio at his residence, Omar handed over the men to the Crime Branch. However, 12 hours later, Yousuf had died. His family claims he was tortured. Omar told the new channel today that there's no question of his resignation over the issue. 'I have behaved in as transparent a manner as possible,' he said. 'I am in touch with the centre to get a sitting judge for the probe as soon as possible.' Omar said his father and NC president Dr Farooq Abdullah did not know that Yousuf was offering government posts for money in his name. The chief minister, however, admitted that Rishi had informed him about two months back that he had paid money to Yousuf. 'It is only human. It slipped off my mind. I forgot to take immediate action.' One of the eyewitnesses Abdul Salam Reshi has said that Sayeed Yousuf told him that the Abdullahs were aware of the deals he struck. He said even he had informed the Chief Minister about the money transactions about three months back. Omar hinted that Salam Reshi was being propped by his political opponents. 'I have reason to believe that the PDP has been in touch with Reshi,' he said. Lashing out at sections of the media for manner in which they were covering the controversy, Omar said 'fictitious stories and lies that are being presented in the media is something I don't understand.' He added, 'where they believe that I have done something wrong, by all means criticise me. Last year when trouble was there, almost every section of media criticised me and rightly so. This year I don't understand.' Meanwhile, another New Delhi based new channel today released a picture, which shows bruises on Sayeed Yousuf’s face which, according to the channel, “indicating towards his custodial death due to torture.” The picture taken after Yousuf died shows bruise marks on his face. The deceased's son Talib Hussain had claimed that his father died because of the torture. 'My father was interrogated inside the chief minister's house. IG (crime) also told me the same. The picture of him shows torture marks,' Talib said. He sought Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi's intervention to get the matter enquired and punishment to the guilty. However, contradicting Talib inspector general of police (crime) Raja Aijaz Ali claimed that he had 'never said that Yousuf was interrogated at the chief minister's residence'.


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