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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 19 June 2024

‘Going off-grid for a few weeks’: Omar Abdullah announces weeks-long sabbatical

'The last two days have been deeply disappointing both personally & professionally but I refuse to give up & slink away. It’s that time of the year when I take some time to be with those I care about, to refresh, recharge & come back stronger'

Muzaffar Raina Srinagar Published 13.12.23, 05:39 AM
Omar Abdullah.

Omar Abdullah. PTI file photo.

The twin court blows on both “professional” and “personal” fronts have prompted former chief minister Omar Abdullah to announce a weeks-long sabbatical, with a pledge to return next year to face challenges including two elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

Omar on Tuesday said he was going “off-grid” following two disappointing days — an obvious reference to Monday’s SupremeCourt verdict upholding the scrapping of Article 370 and Tuesday’s Delhi High Court decision dismissing his plea seeking divorce from his estranged wife.

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“Who was it who said it’s not how hard you can hit, it’s how hard you can get hit & still keep moving forward?” Omar posted on X.

“The last two days have been deeply disappointing both personally & professionally but I refuse to give up & slink away. It’s that time of the year when I take some time to be with those I care about, to refresh, recharge & come back stronger. I’m going off-grid for a few weeks.”

The National Conference leader’s announcement came a day after Mehbooba Mufti-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said it has suspended all political activities for a week in the wake of the Supreme Court upholding the abrogation of Article 370.

“The decision has been taken in order to stand in solidarity with the people of Jammu & Kashmir in the wake of the Supreme Court of India’s judgment of the issue of Article 370,” PDP chief spokesperson Syed Suhail Bukhari had said in a statement.

Both Mehbooba and Omar had on Monday expressed disappointment over the Supreme Court verdict but put up a brave face by vowing to continue the fight politically for the restoration of the special status.

The second adverse court decision in two days for Omar appeared to have taken a toll on him. He, however, said he would come back “fighting fit” next year.

“Will come back early in the new year fighting fit & ready to face the challenges that 2024 will throw at me, including at least two elections in J&K. The fights & struggles will continue,” he said.

The Supreme Court had on Monday asked the Centre to hold Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir by September next year.

A Delhi High Court bench of Justices Sanjeev Sachdeva and Vikas Mahajan on Tuesday upheld a 2016 order of the trial court, which had refused to grant divorce to Omar, saying there was no merit in his appeal.

The NC leader had sought divorce from his estranged wife Payal Abdullah on the ground that he was subjected to cruelty by her.

“We find no infirmity in the view taken by the family court that the allegations of cruelty were vague and unacceptable, that the appellant failed to prove any act which could be termed as an act of cruelty, be it physical or mental, towards him,” the bench said while pronouncing the judgment.

Omar has two sons, Zahir and Zamir, who live with Payal in Delhi. The two had separated in 2011.

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