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Updated: September 9, 2009 21:03 IST

Omar assures justice in Shopian case

Shujaat Bukhari
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Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said he would not rest till the guilty in the Shopian rape-murder case were punished.

Addressing a public meeting at Karewa Manlo, near here, Mr. Abdullah said the death of the two women had shaken him. He said his government would continue efforts to identify the culprits and asked people not to disrupt normal life through agitations on the issue.

Mr. Abdullah admitted that the case was not handled properly initially. “I was misinformed but I got convinced once I got the details. The situation continues to haunt me and I cannot sleep.”

His government had announced a reward of Rs. 20 lakh for information on the culprits. “I have come here to reassure you of my determination to give you justice by punishing the culprits.”

The Chief Minister said he was ready to rope in the Central Bureau of Investigation or any powerful agency to probe the incident. “From day one I tried my best to unearth the facts and book the murderers. The constitution of the Justice Jan Commission was the immediate step in this direction.”

Mr. Abdullah reiterated his stand on zero tolerance for human rights violations. “I want good relations with the Army and no State government can function without doing that but that does not mean we will give anyone a licence to kill.”

Protest against killing

On Wednesday, Shopian observed a general strike protesting against the mysterious killing of Mohammad Hussain Zargar, a member of the Majlis-e-Mushawarat, spearheading the agitation on the rape-murder case. Protests were held in Shopian and the Majlis demanded a probe into Zargar’s killing.

Police sources said a post-mortem was conducted. “We are awaiting results,” a police officer told The Hindu. A case had been registered.

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