What are you hiding in Kashmir: Opposition to Centre

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 25, 2019

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi   -  PTI

As the Centre denied permission to a delegation of leaders to visit Kashmir, the Opposition parties accused the government of hiding the reality in the Valley from the public.

It also flayed the Jammu & Kashmir administration’s move preventing the eleven-member delegation — representing the Congress, the CPI(M), the CPI, the DMK, the NCP, the JD(S), the RJD and the TMC — from visiting the State. The Opposition parties said the Centre is unleashing brute force on the people of Kashmir.

The joint delegation had reached Srinagar on Saturday to assess the prevailing situation against the alleged political lockdown in the State in the wake of the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said he got a first-hand experience of the situation in the State.

“It’s been 20 days since the people of J&K had their freedom and civil liberties curtailed. Leaders of the Opposition and the press got a taste of the draconian administration and brute force unleashed on the people of J&K when we tried to visit Srinagar yesterday (Saturday),” he tweeted.

Posting a video of a woman who complained to Rahul Gandhi about the current situation in the Valley, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said there is nothing more ‘political’ and ‘anti-national’ than the infringement of people’s democratic rights in Kashmir. “It is the duty of every one of us to raise our voices against it, we will not stop doing so,” she added.

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, who was detained twice at the Srinagar airport, said the denial of entry to leaders of recognised political parties is an outright attack on rights of political parties to meet and address their constituents.

Yechury, who was on his way to meet the detained leader of his party, Mohd Yousuf Tarigami, said he has sought the Supreme Court’s help to know the whereabouts of Tarigami, a four-time MLA.

Suppression of freedom

The CPI(M) Polit Buro said in a statement that the delegation had planned to visit various parts of the State over the next few days. It would talk to people from various sections and observe the shades of political opinion to gauge the situation and the difficulties that they are encountering as a result of the shutdown.

“The denial of entry to well-known leaders of recognised political parties is an outright attack on the rights of political parties to meet and address their constituents.

“The misbehaviour of police with media at the Srinagar airport is a blatant suppression of freedom of the press. If ‘normalcy’ exists in the Valley, as claimed by the government, why is it stopping representatives of political parties from meeting the people?” the party said.

Published on August 25, 2019

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