Kashmir Crisis updates: Opposition delegation returns to Delhi, cries foul
Srinagar, Aug 24: A delegation of opposition leaders including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who reached Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday has been sent back by the administration at the Srinagar Airport.
Restrictions have been imposed in Jammu and Kashmir since the centre withdrew special status from the state and divided it into two union territories earlier this month.
Delegation of opposition leaders that went to SRINAGAR & was sent back from Srinagar airport in Budgam, writes a letter to Budgam District Magistrate: We record our strong objection to the basis of our detention, which prima facie is undemocratic&unconstitutional.#JammuAndKashmir pic.twitter.com/toHa4HdYG4— ANI (@ANI) August 24, 2019
Criticising the Centre for stopping an Opposition delegation led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi from visiting Srinagar, the Congress on August 24, asked what the "government is trying to hide".
"If the situation in Jammu & Kashmir is 'normal' as the govt claims, why has the delegation of Opposition leaders led by Rahul Gandhi been sent back from Srinagar airport? What is the Modi govt trying to hide?" the party asked in a tweet.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the government itself should have sent an Opposition leaders' team there to check the facts and win the people's trust.
"The Opposition parties could have visited Srinagar and come back and told the truth to the whole country. It would have built confidence among people," said Gehlot speaking outside the Rajasthan Assembly on August 24.
Recalling former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's move to send delegations of Opposition leaders to various countries amid the Bangladesh liberation war, Gehlot said the Centre was expected to do something similar after the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status and abrogation of Article 370.
Gehlot said instead of stopping Opposition leaders at the Srinagar airport, the government should have facilitated their visit to Srinagar and let them roam around and talk to the local people. It could have given the signal that democracy is still strong in J&K and the entire country.
"You [the government] talk of stopping them, I think it cannot be justified in any manner," he said.
Other leaders in the delegation include Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and K.C. Venugopal, Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) chief Sharad Yadav, Dinesh Trivedi, Tiruchi Siva, Majeed Memon, Manoj Jha and D. Kupendra Reddy.