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'Wonderful that Omar joined shoe targets' elite club'

August 16, 2010 15:12 IST

Making light of Sunday's incident in Srinagar in which a shoe was flung towards his son, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Union Minister Farooq Abdullah on Monday said it was 'wonderful' that he has joined the elite club of former United States President George Bush, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and other leaders.

"He has joined an elite club of former US President George Bush, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zadari and a few others with the reward of shoe. It is a wonderful thing," he quipped when reporters sought his comments outside Parliament House on Sunday's incident.

A suspended police head constable had thrown a shoe towards Omar during the Independence Day function in Srinagar but missed him. Following the security scare, 15 policemen including four officers were suspended.

Omar is the latest victim of 'shoe protest' which all started when an Iraqi journalist at a press conference in Baghdad during his visit to Iraq in December 2008 flung a shoe at Bush who ducked in time. Zardari too faced a similar incident in the UK.

An unhappy Pakistani threw a shoe at Zardari during a rally in Birmingham early this month. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Union Home Minister P Chidambaram have also been the targets of such protests.

Like all the previous shoe protests which has captured the imagination of people, the footwear flung at Omar during the Independence Day function by a suspended police head constable today too missed the 'target' and the protester ended up being taken into the custody by the police.

Farooq said Sunday's incident showed the security apparatus is 'useless.' Asked if the incident reflected a sense of disillusionment in the state, he said, "We have to fight out the situation that exists. We can't run away."

He said Jammu and Kashmir is part of India and he did not support the calls for its separation from the country. "Either you stay with us or sink with us," he said.

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