Omar Abdullah confirms separation with wife

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and his wife Payal have separated after 17 years of marriage.

In a statement issued by his office, the 41-year-old Chief Minister said "while it is true my wife and I have separated, the speculation about motives and about my future course of action are unfounded, untrue and deeply hurtful to all concerned."

Omar said he was dismayed and anguished over the growing tide of speculation in the media about his private life, particularly the status of his marriage.

"The stories about my remarriage are completely false and concocted. It is a pity that while repeating these lies, no effort was made to ask me whether any of this is true. In the process a lot of people have been hurt," he said.

"I believe my family and I are entitled to that privacy. At this point my concern has to and will remain my young sons who do not deserve to see themselves splashed across the news channels and pages of newspapers in this manner," he said and expressed hope that media will respect his and his family's privacy.

"I am sure you will all appreciate that while my private life has gone through a period of unprecedented upheaval, I have not allowed it to affect my work in any way," he said.

"My family and I will not be issuing any more statements or taking any further questions about any of this," he added.

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