Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and leaders of other opposition parties will today visit Jammu and Kashmir, where restrictions have been imposed since the centre withdrew special status from the state and divided it into two union territories earlier this month.
The Jammu And Kashmir Information and Public Relations Department tweeted political leaders should not “not visit Srinagar as they would be putting other people to inconvenience” at a “time when the government is trying to protect the people of Jammu and Kashmir from the threat of cross border terrorism and attacks…”
Among the parties that will be part of the opposition’s all-party delegation that will land at Srinagar are Congress, CPI(M), CPI, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Nationalist Congress Party, Trinamool Congress and the DMK, sources said.
Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma are the senior Congress leaders other than Rahul Gandhi who will fly to Jammu and Kashmir. Mr Azad was twice stopped at Jammu airport, most recently on Tuesday, and was “forcibly” sent back to Delhi both times.
“We are all responsible political parties and leaders. We are not going to break any law. The Jammu and Kashmir situation is very concerning. It’s close to 20 days. No news for 20 days. The government says the situation is normal. But then they don’t allow leaders to go? Haven’t seen such contradiction… If it’s normal, why aren’t we allowed?” Mr Azad said as he left for the airport this morning in Delhi, news agency ANI reported.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D Raja, DMK’s Tiruchi Siva, Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Manoj Jha and Dinesh Trivedi from the Trinamool Congress will also be part of the delegation, sources said.
They may visit other parts of the state, if allowed to enter. So far, the government has not allowed any political leader to enter the state.
Mr Gandhi is going to Kashmir valley weeks after Governor Satya Pal Malik invited him – on a plane to be sent by the centre – to see the situation on the ground. “I have invited Rahul Gandhi to come here. I will send you a plane, to observe (the situation) and then speak up. You are a responsible person and you should not speak like this,” Mr Malik said on August 11, replying to Mr Gandhi’s comments that reports of “violence and deaths” had come from Jammu and Kashmir.
Mr Gandhi accepted the invitation two days later, but the Governor decided to withdraw the invitation for putting “pre-conditions” for the visit. “Rahul Gandhi is politicising the matter by seeking to bring a delegation of opposition leaders to create further unrest and problems for the common people,” Mr Malik had said in a statement.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday asked the opposition leaders to not visit Srinagar as it would “disturb the gradual restoration of normal life.”
“Attempts should not be made by senior political leaders to disturb the gradual restoration of normal life. Political leaders are requested to cooperate and not visit Srinagar as they would be putting other people to inconvenience,” it tweeted.
attempts should not be made by senior political leaders to disturb the gradual restoration of normal life. Political leaders are requested to cooperate and not visit Srinagar as they would be putting other people to inconvenience. (2/3)
— DIPR-J&K (@diprjk) August 23, 2019
Some 400 politicians, including former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, are under arrest. The restrictions are still in place at several areas in the state.
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As Opposition Leaders Head To Srinagar, Government Says Stay Away – NDTV News