The Supreme Court of India allowed senior Congress leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to visit Jammu, Anantnag, Baramulla and Srinagar.
The court has permitted him to interact with the locals but not hold any political rallies.
Azad moved to the top court seeking permission to visit his home State to enquire about the well being of his family members. He said he has filed the petition in his personal capacity and it is apolitical.
His plea was taken up by a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S.A. Bobde and S. Abdul Nazeer.
Days after the government lifted Jammu and Kashmir’s special status Azad tried to visit Srinagar, but he was sent back from the airport by the administration.
While speaking to he media after the Supreme Court’s order Azad said:
“I have filed the petition in my personal capacity, not on behalf of the Congress. It has nothing do with politics and is based purely on humanitarian grounds. I tried thrice to go to my home State but was refused permission. Almost one-third of Kashmiri people are lakhs who do labour to earn their daily livelihood and nobody is bothered to know how are they surviving.
I have expressed concern about the plight of those people on humanitarian basis, being a native, and as a member of Parliament from Jammu and Kashmir. It has been 42 days…What are they eating, drinking and how are they surviving, this is a question to the State government, the central government and to the media as well.”
In his petition before the top court, he has also sought permission to check on social conditions in the state after the government imposed the clampdown. Several opposition leaders, including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi were not allowed to do so and were sent back from the airport itself.
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury had moved the apex court to see his ailing party colleague Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami, which allowed him to pay a visit but with certain conditions.
Source : Various