Srinagar, Aug 12 (PTI): Jammu & Kashmir Governor N N Vohra on Monday accepted the resignation of home minister Sajad Kitchloo, who maintained his innocence about Kitshtwar clashes but chose to step down pending the outcome of a judicial inquiry ordered by the state government.
“On the advise of Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister, Governor N N Vohra has accepted the resignation of Sajad Ahmad Kitchloo, minister of state for Home, from the state council of ministers with immediate effect,” a spokesman of the Raj Bhavan said in a statement here.
Kitchloo had earlier submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah pending the outcome of the judicial probe ordered by the state government.
“I have received Sajad Kitchloo's resignation asking to be relieved of his responsibilities pending the outcome of the judicial inquiry,” Omar wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.
“I am forwarding the same to the Governor with the recommendation that it be accepted,” he added.
Bharatiya Janata Party and some Congress leaders had demanded Kitchloo be removed from the ministry pending an impartial inquiry on his alleged role in the Kishtwar riots.
“I want the truth to come out...my conscience does not allow me to continue as a minister till probe ends,” Kitchloo said in a statement.
He, however, maintained that he was innocent and had done nothing wrong.
“My conscience is clear, my electorate in Kishtwar vouch for my secular credentials and I am deeply hurt that some people have stooped so low as to accuse me of something I have not done, only for petty political gains,” he said.
Kitchloo, representative of National Conference from Kishtwar Assembly constituency, was inducted in the council of ministers in January this year.
“My family and I have a track record of 60 years in politics. Me and my father late Bashir Ahmad Kitchloo have always stood for probity and transparency in public life and secularism has been the bed rock of our political ideology.
”We are associated with the J-K National Conference whose basic principal is to uphold communal harmony and brotherhood in the state,” Kitchloo said.
Condemning the communal violence in Kishtwar, he said culprits must be identified and those responsible must be punished.
Hitting out at BJP and Opposition PDP, Kitchloo said “I take strong exception to what Arun Jaitley said. Did Modi resign after Godhra? What happened to Amit Shah who is now the star campaigner of BJP in Uttar Pradesh? Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others.”
“PDP says I am to be blamed. I am to be blamed for ensuring that PDP has no presence and existence in the Chenab Valley,” he added.