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Omar now in elite company, says Farooq Abdullah
New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS/PTI):
Published on 16 Aug. 2010 11:30 PM IST
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Union Minister Farooq Abdullah Monday said his son, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, has joined “an elite club” after a police constable hurled a shoe at him during the Independence Day function in Srinagar.
“He has joined an elite club of former US president George W. Bush, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zadari, Home Minister P. Chidambaram and a few others with the shoe (throwing incident).
It is a wonderful thing,” the senior Abdullah told reporters outside Parliament House.
A suspended police head constable hurled a shoe at the chief minister during the Independence Day function in Srinagar Sunday.
The police department suspended 15 of their men, including four officers, after the incident for the security breach.
Chidambaram, Zardari, Bush and Chinese premier Wen Jiabao have faced similar shoe protests in the past few years.
His lighter vein of the comment apart, Farooq Abdullah, the union minister for new and renewable energy, blamed the shoe incident on his son’s security apparatus. He said it was a lapse on part of Omar’s security apparatus.
The chief minister has faced sharp criticism for his handling of the latest round of violence in the Kashmir Valley during which over 55 people have been killed, mostly in firing by security forces, since June 11.
Congress condemns
shoe-throwing incident
Congress on Sunday strongly condemned the hurling of a shoe at Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah during the Independence Day function in Srinagar and said “divisive forces” in the Valley could be behind it.
The party, which felt throwing footwear has become a “fashion” nowadays, said the incident should be probed and the guilty must be punished. “I think the whole incident should be condemned in the strongest possible words. It has become a fashion to hurl shoes on anyone without thinking about the consequences.
This incident is completely uncalled for and whoever has done it must be punished,” senior Congress leader Rajiv Shukla said. Suspended policeman Abdul Ahad Jan hurled a shoe towards the dais where Abdullah was taking salute after unfurling the tricolour at the Independence Day function in Srinagar.
Shukla said “divisive forces which are quite active in the Valley” may be behind the incident. “It looks as if they (the divisive forces) have got this connections within the security officials also. So I think the entire matter should be probed and guilty must be found.”
Union Minister Farooq Abdullah, father of the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, said the policeman, who threw the shoe, must have been angry as action was taken against him by the government.
“The policeman is angry because he was dismissed from the job. So how does it matter. One mad man does something, does it mean everybody is mad,” he said when asked about the incident.
Jan, a head constable who was suspended in May after a criminal case was registered against him, was whisked away by security personnel immediately after he flung a brown leather shoe from the VIP enclosure behind the dais where he was sitting during the function at Bakshi Stadium, police said.

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