Omar Abdullah distances himself from bungalow occupied by distanced wife

Srinagar , June 30: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today distanced himself from the occupation of a bungalow belonging to the Jammu and Kashmir government in Delhi by his estranged wife Payal.

Referring to media reports on the issue, he said in a statement 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.
“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,” Omar said in the statement.

He was responding to media reports that said 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.