Back from Srinagar, Yechury says situation in Kashmir ‘contrary to government claims’

AM Jigeesh Srinagar | Updated on September 01, 2019 Published on September 01, 2019

Sitaram Yechury (left) along with his party colleague Mohd Yousuf Tarigami, at the latter’s residence in Srinagar


CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, the first politician outside the Valley to visit Kashmir after abrogation of Article 370, got a taste of treatment that Opposition leaders under detention are getting here.

Yechury, who received a favourable order from Supreme Court in a habeas corpus petition seeking the whereabouts of his party colleague and four-time MLA Mohd Yousuf Tarigami, reached Srinagar airport at around 11 am on Thursday.

Senior superintendent of police Imtiyaz Hussain, as directed by the Supreme Court, received Yechury and whisked him away to a room.

Police sources confirmed that Yechury was informed by senior police officers there that he will be taken to Tarigami’s residence but he will have to return by the evening flight. They told BusinessLine that Yechury objected to this suggestion and said his return would depend on the outcome of the discussions with Tarigami. Citing the court order, the policemen argued that he has enough time for a meeting on the day and he will have to go back in the evening. But Yechury stood firm and said he will decide about his return only after the meeting.

Later, Imtiyaz Hussain took Yechury to Tarigami’s house from the airport. The police officer, along with some other policemne, too, remained there with the leaders for some time. Yechury urged them to leave saying that he and Tarigami needed to talk in private. The police officers informed him that though Tarigami was neither under arrest officially nor charged with anything, he or his family members were not allowed to go out of the house on Gupkar Road and nor was anyone allowed to enter his house. However, both the leaders held discussions for about four hours.

Police sources added that Yechury said after the meeting that since he has to add a medical opinion on Tarigami’s health in his affidavit to the Supreme Court, the police should bring Tarigami’s physician and get a report prepared on his health condition. Yechury insisted that the he would not leave Srinagar until the report was prepared.

The police took the Left leader and his assistant, Tikender Singh Panwar, to East Guest House in Jhelum on the condition that they would not leave the guest house nor would anybody come to meet them.

On Friday morning, Yechury was brought to Tarigami’s house and a doctor briefed the CPI(M) leader about the condition of the former MLA.

Upon landing in Delhi, Yechury told media that he was not allowed to meet anybody else. “So we can say nothing about the situation there. But what we saw on the street through the car window and what the government claims are contradictory,” he said.

Published on September 01, 2019
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