Bedi panel turns down plea for Omar’s cross-examination

Srinagar, April 27: The Justice H.S. Bedi Commission, probing ruling National Conference (NC) worker Haji Yusuf’s death, Friday disallowed a plea to summon Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for cross-examination.

Advocate Mushtaq Ahmad Dar, appearing for Haji Yusuf’s family, had requested the commission to allow cross-examination of 14 persons who had earlier filed affidavits before the commission.

‘The commission has declined to allow cross-examination of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Minister of State (Home) Nasir Aslam Wani, political advisor to chief minister Devender Rana and some other state officials,’ Dar told IANS.

According to Dar, in its order Friday the commission said that the cross-examination of these persons would not serve any purpose.

Others whose cross-examination has been declined by the panel, include the private secretary to the chief minister, a senior superintendent of police (crime), an assistant inspector general of police, and the station house officer of Batmaloo police station in the city.

The commission has slated the next hearing on May 19.

National Conference activist Haji Yusuf died allegedly while he was in the custody of the state police crime branch Sep 30 last year. He was handed over to the crime branch by Omar Abdullah who had called him to his official residence after two party workers alleged Yusuf took bribes from them, promising one a legislator’s job and the other a ministerial berth.

While Yusuf’s family alleged he was tortured to death, an autopsy showed that Haji Yusuf died of cardiac arrest.

Justice (retired) H.S. Bedi was appointed to head the one-man judicial probe into Yusuf’s death on Nov 18, 2011.