J&K chief minister quits, told to carry on

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir chief minister resigned today after the opposition alleged that he was involved in a sex trafficking scandal three years ago.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s resignation came just hours after an opposition leader accused him of being on a list of politicians who were supplied trafficked women and underage girls.

Abdullah’s aide, Devinder Rana, said he submitted his resignation to state governor NN Vohra, but it was not immediately clear whether it would be accepted.

The governor’s office issued a statement later saying that Abdullah was asked to stay on as chief minister while Vohra investigated the allegations.

Abdullah denied the claims today, telling the state legislature, “I want to resign till I am cleared of this false allegation. I cannot work till I am proved innocent.” The scandal surfaced in 2006 after pornographic videos and multimedia messages started spreading through mobile phones. Police began investigating the content and discovered that women and underage girls were being trafficked and supplied to politicians, bureaucrats and security officials.

It sparked weeks of violent protests across the region.