Rahul Gandhi, Other Opposition Leaders on Way to Srinagar; Govt Says Stay Away

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Rahul Gandhi. — File photo

Caravan News

SRINAGAR — As a delegation of opposition parties, led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, is set to visit Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday where restrictions have been imposed in the wake of abrogation of Article 370, the administration requested them against visiting the state.

In a series of tweets, the Information and Public Relations Department of the Jammu & Kashmir government said: “At a time when the government is trying to protect the people of Jammu & Kashmir from the threat of cross border terrorism and attacks by militants and separatists and gradually trying to restore public order by controlling miscreants and mischief mongers, 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.

“They would also be violating restrictions that are still there in many areas. Senior leaders should understand that top priority would be given to maintaining peace, order and preventing loss of human lives.”

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.

Similarly, CPI and CPI-M General Secretaries D. Raja and Sitaram Yechury were also not allowed to enter Srinagar and were detained at the airport and then sent back to Delhi.

Saturday’s visit to Srinagar will be Gandhi’s first visit since the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and other Opposition leaders have boarded the flight to Srinagar.

Earlier this month, Gandhi also had a run-in with Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satyapal Malik on Twitter. The Governor had said that Gandhi was trying to politicise the matter of Jammu and Kashmir and that he should visit the valley if he wants to know the “real ground situation.”

(With inputs from IANS)

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