Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said today that he will vacate his government accommodation in Srinagar before the end of October. The National Conference leader shared his letter to the administration of the union territory, written in July.
“I will be vacating my government accommodation in Srinagar before the end of October. The point to note is that contrary to stories planted in the media last year I received no notice to vacate & have chosen to do so of my own accord (sic),” Mr Abdullah wrote on Twitter, sharing a photo of his letter to the official in charge of estates, hospitality and protocol in Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr Abdullah, 50, said he was allotted in the accommodation in Srinagar’s VVIP area of Gupkar Raod in 2002 when he was an MP from the Srinagar constituency. He said he used the complex and the adjoining house as the official residende of the Chief Minister from Cotober 2010 to January 2015 when he demitted office as “the rules allowed for me to retain an accommodation in Srinagar or Jammu and I chose to retain an accommodation in Srinagar”.

“Consequent upon the change of entitlements for former CMs on Jammu and Kashmir some months ago, I now find myself in unauthorised occupation of this accommodation, as no attempt has been made to regularise the allotment to me on security and other grounds,” Mr Abdullah said in his writer. “This is a situation that is unacceptable to me. I have never held on to any government property I was not entitled to and I have no intention to start now,” he said.

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Mr Abdullah’s letter in July said the process of finding an alternative accommodation was taking time due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Omar Abdullah was freed after nearly eight months of detention in Srinagar on March 24. Days before that, his father and former Union Minister Farooq Abdullah too was released from house arrest. Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is still in detention. The three were among hundreds of political leaders detained ahead of the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.