“Things Aren’t Normal In Valley” Says Rahul Gandhi After Opposition Delegation Sent Back

Rahul Gandhi and the delegation of opposition leaders who attempted to visit Srinagar on Saturday to meet people and assess situation in Kashmir Valley were sent back from Srinagar International Airport.

The 12 member delegation included Congress’s Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma, CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D Raja, DMK’s Tiruchi Siva, RJD’s Manoj Jha and Dinesh Trivedi from TMC.

The opposition delegation wrote to Budgam district magistrate expressing objection to the decision to send them back from Srinagar airport. Opposition alleged J&K’s administration’s decision is violation of fundamental rights.

On being returned from the valley, Rahul Gandhi said, “I was invited by the Governor to visit the state which I accepted. I took senior leaders from the parties to see the situation, but we were not allowed to go beyond the airport, press people were mishandled, it is clear that things are not normal in the state.”

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “They did not let us go outside, the situation in J&K is tense, I cannot define the situation of the valley in words, we wanted to go and visit the state to see it, this is the reason that we were not allowed to visit, it’s a murder of democracy, leaders are under arrest.”

Restrictions have been in place in J&K since 5th August after the Modi Government withdrew special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Many regional politicians including former chief ministers are currently detained. Restrictions include public movement, transportation, emergency services, landline, internet and mobile phone connectivity are all suspended.

The administration however say that the situation is improving and the restrictions are being lifted in a phased manner. However, eyewitnesses and journalist differ with government accounts.

Source : Various

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