NEW DELHI — Senior Congress leader and Leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was denied entry into Srinagar and sent back to the capital, on Thursday demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah while accusing them of ‘destroying’ Jammu and Kashmir.
Kashmir Congress chief Gulam Ahmed Mir who was with former chief minister of J&K Ghalam Nabi Azad was also detained at Srinagar airport.
Speaking to reporters on his arrival from Srinagar, he told reporters at the Indiara Gandhi International Airport, “Jammu and Kashmir people are not allowed to raise their voice. As long as I am outside and not behind the bars, I will speak on behalf of the people of Kashmir and all the regions,” reports ANI.
Hitting out at the BJP government, Azad said, “The BJP, the Prime Minister and the Home Minister should apologise to each person of Jammu and Kashmir because they have finished the state.”
Azad had gone to Srinagar earlier on Thursday but was not allowed to leave the airport and was sent back to Delhi in another flight after a few hours.
Elaborating on his purpose of visiting Jammu and Kashmir, he said, “Normally I visit Kashmir after the culmination of Parliament session. We had called a Pradesh Congress Committee meeting at our party headquarters so that we can discuss this black law of NDA government which has removed J-K as a state from the map of India.”
“When the plane enters the valley, it flies low and for the first time, I saw that for 80 kilometre stretch there was no vehicular movement. The passengers that met us at the airport told me that no one is being allowed outside their houses. So probably the Modi government has brought such a law that state’s 22 districts are under curfew. What kind of law (is this that it) keeps the state under a curfew for three days? Azad exclaimed.
“We have seen the wars of 1965, 1971 and in 1999 — vehicles ran on the highways and the other roads of the state. But I could not see any vehicvle plying on those highways this time,” he said.
On BJP leaders demanding an apology from him on his ‘Kashmiris were paid to pose’ statement, he said, “So where did the food come from. Everyone has been paid to eat food. What else they (BJP) would say. They have destroyed a state. BJP has first destroyed the whole country and now they have done the same with the state”. He also accused BJP government of ‘mercilessly massacring’ the state by taking away its identity.
“Pressurising 3-4 people and luring them to the roads and having food with them can be done by anyone,” Azad said.
“I represent Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh in Rajya Sabha. I owe a duty towards all of them and Rajya Sabha is there to protect the interest of the entire state. It is my duty to speak on behalf of all the regions,” he said
This government has massacred the state, mercilessly. All the laws made by the state have been scrapped, article 370 been diluted. We have lost our identity. Today people of Jammu and Kashmir are from a Union Territory. It is shame on part of the government and Bharatiya Janata Party,” Azad said.