Yechury visits party legislator in Kashmir

AM Jigeesh Srinagar | Updated on August 29, 2019

A view of former CM Farooq Abdullah’s house in Srinagar where he is under arrest

Srinagar wears a deserted look; road where top politicians of the Valley reside kept out of bounds for public, media

Amid tight security, Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury visited his party’s four-time MLA and senior leader in the Valley Mohd. Yousuf Tarigami here on Thursday.

Gupkar Road, where a number of high-profile politicians, including Tarigami, live was kept out of bounds for media as well as the public during the meeting of the leaders. The J&K administration escorted Yechury from the airport to Tarigami’s residence at around 12 p.m.

Police personnel said that Yechury decided to stay at the senior leader’s house on Thursday. He will return to Delhi on Friday. Details of the meeting are not known.

Following a habeas corpus petition filed by Yechury, the Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed him to visit Tarigami and asked him to file an affidavit on the present condition of the four-time MLA.

Apart from Tarigami, senior leaders and former chief ministers such as Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti are under house arrest in the city. Farooq Abdullah’s residence is also at Gupkar Road. People are not allowed to even stand in front of Tarigami’s and Abdullah’s residences.

After about four hours, the police asked reporters who were standing more than one kilometre away from Tarigami’s residence to leave the place.

Discontent among locals

The city is under complete control of the Jammu and Kashmir Police and the Army. Even aircraft windows are not allowed to be opened during landing. Many local people, with whom BusinessLine interacted with, vented their anger over the turn of events.

“This is peak tourist season and the city looks deserted. Hospitals are not working properly. Most of the pharmacies are closed. Harvest of apples and apricots has started and farmers are facing a tough time trying to sell their produce,” said Khurshid (name changed), a grocery shop owner.

He added that the schools are shut and it is difficult to stock and purchase daily essentials. The police in the city expect the situation to remain volatile at least for two more months. Lack of communication facilities is also worrying the local people. Verbal altercations between the police and local people are also on the rise.

“They have closed Gupkar Road. Now, I will have to travel at least an extra 7 km,instead of one kilometre. The police are behaving ruthlessly,” said Mahzoom (name changed), another local resident.

Published on August 29, 2019

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