Srinagar: A photograph of detained former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah in long beard surfaced on Saturday, which fast became viral on Twitter. In the viral photo, the National Conference leader can be seen wearing a woollen cap and sporting a salt and pepper beard.
He looked almost unrecognisable in the picture, which evoked strong reactions from netizens, including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. This is possibly the first picture of 49-year-old NC leader to have appeared in public domain after five months of captivity.
“I could not recognize Omar in this picture. Am feeling sad. Unfortunate that this is happening in our democratic country. When will this end,” West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asked on the micro-blogging site?
Congress leader Milind Deora tweeted that successive Indian governments have benefited richly from Abdullah’s economic and political views.
“…Muting nationalists like him made our national discourse poorer. Complete normalcy must be restored soon,” he said.
The National Conference leader has been in detention since August 5, when Article 370 was abrogated in the state. Three former chief ministers have been in detention in the Valley since August 5. Omar`s father Farooq Abdullah has been kept at his Gupta Road residence in Srinagar.
Earlier there were reports that Omar, who has been kept in Hari Niwas, would be moved to a home on Gupta Road, but that has not happened.
PDP chief and former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti, too, has been kept in a government building on MA Road.