Omar Abdullah quits as CM over sex scandal allegation

SRINAGAR Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:44pm IST

Chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah (2nd L) walks with his father Farooq Abdullah (3rd L), president of the National Conference (NC) party, before submitting his resignation to Governor of Kashmir and Jammu Narinder Nath Vohra in Srinagar July 28, 2009. REUTERS/Danish Ismail

Chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah (2nd L) walks with his father Farooq Abdullah (3rd L), president of the National Conference (NC) party, before submitting his resignation to Governor of Kashmir and Jammu Narinder Nath Vohra in Srinagar July 28, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Danish Ismail

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SRINAGAR (Reuters) - The chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, resigned on Tuesday after an opposition lawmaker accused him of involvement in a sex scandal.

An angry Abdullah denied the allegation but said he couldn't continue in office until the issue was resolved.

The scandal, in which girls, some of them minors, were said to be supplied to politicians, bureaucrats, police officials, sparked weeks of violent protests across the Himalayan region in 2006 after it was uncovered.

"I cannot work as the chief minister until my name is cleared. It is a blot on my character," the 38-year-old Abdullah, the troubled region's youngest chief minister, said.

The resignation came shortly after Muzaffar Hussain Baig, a leader of Kashmir's main opposition People's Democratic Party, said Abdullah was involved in the scandal in a speech in the state assembly.

In 2006, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the country's federal police probing the sex scandal, arrested two former state ministers and lawmakers but later freed them on bail.

The scandal is still under investigation by the authorities.

Kashmir, India's only Muslim majority state, has been in the throes of a raging Islamic insurgency against Indian rule since 1989, a conflict that has killed more than 47,000 people, while separatists put the toll near 100,000.

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