Omar’s estranged wife evicted from bungalow

Belongings of Omar Abdullah’s estranged wife Payal being moved out of 7 Akbar Road in New Delhi on Tuesday. PHOTO: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA  

Sitting on the porch of the bungalow on 7 Akbar Road here, Payal, estranged wife of the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, wearily looked at her furniture dumped in the backyard garden.

She blamed Mr. Abdullah for the way the authorities reached the house within moments of the Delhi High Court ordering her eviction.

“If Omar was not involved in this, then he would make sure that the children are safe. But, because he is involved, he does not care,” she told The Hindu.

Mr. Abdullah rejected the allegations. “I am not a petty vindictive person. I was the CM for three years after we separated. Neither did I ever ask her to leave the house nor take away the official vehicles she had,” he said.

The family had been living in the Type VIII bungalow belonging to the J&K government for 17 years. When the couple separated in 2011, Mr. Abdullah moved out, but his wife and two sons continued to live there.

There was no issue till such time Mr. Abdullah was the Chief Minister. But when he demitted office last year, the J&K government sought to occupy the house, which Ms. Abdullah refused citing security threat to her family.

“We get Z security cover and 94 people are involved in this on a daily basis out of which 42 people stay here in the sheds built for them. The house that I own is surrounded by buildings on all sides and will have no space for the guards,” Ms. Abdullah said.

Mr. Abdullah said she should have gracefully vacated the house. “When I got the first notice in December last year, I wrote to her saying given that me and my father Farooq Abdullah have given up the house and live in private accommodation, there was no reason to justify occupying the government house.”

Ms. Abdullah, her father, Major-General (Retd) Ram Nath, and brother Pankaj criticised the “uncivilised manner” in which J&K government officials and the Delhi police removed her belongings.

“The order came at 4 p.m. and the eviction team reached our house at 5 p.m. They brought with them over a hundred cops. My younger son was alone at home and he was absolutely terrified seeing the cops forcing their way into the house. He was in tears,” Ms. Abdullah said.

While she has moved into her father’s house in Noida, her belongings are being shifted to a house she owns in Moti Bagh.

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 12:58:27 AM |

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