Opposition leaders cry foul over Kashmir visit curbs
The twelve political leaders from various opposition parties who visited the Valley but were not allowed to step out of the airport signed on a representation, asking the authorities that it should be handed over to Governor Satyapal malik.
In a strongly worded representation addressed to the Budgam District Magistrate, the opposition leaders claimed the apprehensions due to their visit are baseless. "They are tantamount to allegations against the purpose of our visit", read the letter.
It says that their visit is a result of a public invitation of the Governor of the union territory who invited them to visit and see the situation first hand. Soon after Article 370 of the Constitution was abrogated, Governor Malik offered Rahul Gandhi to visit the valley. But when he tweeted his intention to visit along with a delegation of opposition MPs, Malik questioned the intention of Gandhi and forwarded the request to J&K Police for requisite permission.
In the letter, they argued that as elected representatives, the purpose of the visit was to express solidarity with people of Kashmir and help bring normalcy. But the order preventing them to step out has left them agitated.
The political leaders lodged their objection and claimed their detention was "undemocratic and unconstitutional".
Congress' Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, K.C. Venugopal and Anand Sharma, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury and Communist Party of India's D Raja, Trinamool Congress (TMC)'s Dinesh Trivedi, Tiruchi Siva of DMK, Loktantrik Janta Dal's Sharad Yadav, Manoj Jha of Rashtriya Janata Dal, Majeed Memon of Nationalist Congress Party and D Kupendra Reddy of the Janata Dal (Secular) signed the representation.
The political leaders were urged by authorities not to visit the Valley yesterday itself. Today upon landing all of them were prevented from stepping out, so they had to fly back to Delhi. IANS