Home India News Omar Abdullah interacts with people in Jammu market

Omar Abdullah interacts with people in Jammu market


Jammu : Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Saturday did something unexpected for a politician with Z plus security cover – he walked among the common people in a crowded market in the state’s winter capital.

Abdullah arrived at Raghunath Bazar in the heart of Jammu unannounced and walked through the nearly one km-long market, which has shops selling dry fruit, clothes, and a theatre – Hari theatre – built in the times of Maharaja Hari Singh, the state’s last Dogra king.

Shopkeepers in the market, named after a 150-year-old Raghunath temple that was attacked by terrorists twice in 2002, were amazed to find the chief minister there and thought he might be out shopping.

However, it soon became clear that Abdullah wanted to interact with the people and he was soon surrounded by a crowd. Many had to crane their necks to see the 39-year-old chief minister.

There were security people around, but the chief minister often walked out of the security ring and intermingled with the people.

Abdullah greeted people with folded hands, and sometimes with a salaam, bringing his right hand to his forehead as he sported a broad smile.

“How’s your business doing, must be good in this festive season,” he enquired from one of the sweet makers in the market. The sweet maker, Sat Pal, sought to offer a box of sweets to the chief minister, but by that time, he had moved on.

Some of the market people, brought bouquets and offered it to him, and few others garlanded him.

It took him almost half-an-hour to cover the distance from one end of the market to the other.

“It’s great, the chief minister walking among commoners,” said Daisy Sharma, a shopkeeper, while someone from the crowd remarked that he had a “charming personality”.