Kitchloo to be re-inducted in Omar Government tomorrow

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Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu, Dec 20: Ruling National Conference MLA Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo will be re-inducted as a Minister in the Omar Abdullah government tomorrow, as a judicial commission probing the communal riots in Kishtwar today gave him a clean chit.

Kitchloo will take oath as the Minister of State at a swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhawan at 12.30 PM tomorrow, official sources said. Ministers and other top ranking men had been invited to the swearing-in ceremony.

A judicial commission probing the communal riots in Kishtwar today gave a clean chit to Kitchloo, who had to resign, following the communal clashes on August 9. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has requested Governor N N Vohra for swearing-in of Kitchloo as a Minister in his cabinet at the earliest, official sources said.

The one-man commission, headed by Justice (Retd) R C Gandhi, exonerated then Minister of State for Home Kitchloo, and blamed police and local administration for mismanagement during the riots that had rocked Kishtwar on the day of Eid, leaving three persons killed and dozens others injured.

After induction, Kitchloo would be given the portfolio of MoS (Independent charge) for Commerce and Industry, and MoS for Home. The commission, in its report, is believed to have recommended formation of Muslim Village Defence Committees (VDCs) in Kishtwar.

Besides killings, property worth crores of rupees was set ablaze by rival communities, forcing the government to impose curfew and seek assistance from the army in controlling the situation. The curfew was lifted after 12 days, following a visit by an all-party delegation and senior ministers of the state government that led to reconciliation between the two communities.

PTI

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