Rahul Gandhi leads multi-party delegation to J&K .... Sent back from Srinagar airport

Rahul Gandhi

Srinagar, Aug 24: Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and several other senior leaders were sent back from Srinagar airport after reaching here to assess the ongoing situation in the Kashmir Valley.The delegation included leaders from the Congress, CPI-M, CPI, RJD, NCP, TMC and the DMK.The delegation took a flight from Delhi to Srinagar. It included Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma from the Congress,   Sitaram Yechury of the CPI-M, CPI's D Raja, DMK's Tiruchi Siva, RJD's Manoj Jha and Dinesh Trivedi of the TMC.

The delegation also included Sharad Yadav and Majeed Memon from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

However, the delegation was not allowed to leave the Srinagar airport and was sent back around an hour after landing here.

Meanwhile, a statement from the Jammu and Kashmir administration said that the visit by politicians would be in violation of restrictions that have been imposed in many areas of the Valley.The Jammu and Kashmir administration issued a statement on Friday night asking political leaders not to visit the Valley as it would disturb the gradual restoration of peace and normal life.It also said the visit by politicians would be in violation of restrictions that have been imposed in many areas of the Valley.The statement comes close on the heels of a proposed visit by Opposition members, including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, on Saturday to meet people of Kashmir where restrictions had been imposed after the Centre withdrew the special status to the State.The statement from the Jammu and Kashmir administration said at a time when the government was trying to protect the people of the State 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,” the statement said.So far, the government has not allowed any political leader to enter the State ever since the Centre abrogated provisions of Article 370.Leaders of regional parties, including former Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have been put under house arrest. Congress MP Ghulam Nabi Azad was not allowed to enter the State and was stopped twice, both at Srinagar and Jammu.News24 Bureau with PTI inputsPhoto: Google Image