Omar Abdullah, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, distanced himself from the occupation of a bungalow belonging to the state government in Delhi by his estranged wife Payal. In a statement he said that he had responded to the state estate officer’s eviction notice as far back as June 4 this year informing him that he was not in occupation of the bungalow in question.
Omar said, “This I did, after informing my wife, who I have been separated from for more than five years now and also after having informer her of the alternative arrangements available to them.”
ToI in a report stated that Payal, estranged from Omar in 2011, has resisted all attempts by the J&K resident commission estate officer to evict her. Payal has cited the example of Priyanka Gandhi, who too has been alloted a bungalow.
The report stated that Payal had approached Supreme Court against the eviction notice issued by the Jammu and Kashmir government for vacating 7-Akbar Road, which is the official residence of the state Chief Minister.
Requesting the media to respect his privacy, Omar said that as regards the circumstances that led to the “breakdown of my marriage, that matter is currently sub judice and awaiting adjudication in court. Therefore, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on this matter.”
“In the past, the media have acceded to my request to respect the privacy of the persons involved as also avoid any unnecessary speculation around this issue, for which I’m grateful.
“This was primarily to protect the interests of my children, who are the real victims of these unfortunate circumstances. Over the years, I have done everything within my means to try and shield them from the fallout of these circumstances and will continue to do so,” he said.
Omar reiterated his request to the media in the hope that the media will be sensitive to these concerns going forward.
“To the extent I am responsible to the people of my State, in discharging my responsibilities and duties for the work that I do, I will continue to remain accountable to them,” he added.
(With inputs from Agencies)