Indian opposition leaders to visit Kashmir to 'review' situation

Clay Curtis
August 24, 2019

"This visit is an attempt to review the reality in the region after the abrogation of Article 370", the tweet read.

Parties like Congress, CPI, DMK, RJD, TMC, NCP and JD (S) were the part of the opposition all-party delegation.

Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, KC Venugopal and Anand Sharma were among the delegation from the party besides Gandhi.

But the Jammu and Kashmir Department of Information and Public Relations requested the opposition leaders not to visit Srinagar as it would "disturb the gradual restoration of normal life".

"The government says the situation in J&K is normal".

At least 400 political leaders in the Valley including former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti have been kept in preventive custody after the Centre had on August 5 revoked nearly all the provisions of Article 370, which gave special status to the state and bifurcated it into Union territories. Leaders of regional parties, including former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have been put under house arrest. Top sources have said that the opposition delegation will not be permitted to leave the airport. If they enter the region, then they will be violating the Section 144, reports say.

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Delegation of opposition leaders comprising Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, D Raja, Sharad Yadav, Manoj Jha, Majeed Memon, and others that had reached Srinagar has been sent back.

Earlier in the month Rahul Gandhi and J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik had entered into a war of words on Twitter. Never seen such contradictions. 'Time and again the government functionaries and leaders of ruling parties have been claiming that situation is normal in the Kashmir valley, ' Azad said. We are not going to break any law.

Strategically important locations and areas where the Valley's mainstream politicians have been detained face even more stringent restrictions with security forces barring entry of media personnel. "If he wants to aggravate the situation and come here to repeat the lie he said in Delhi, it is not good", Malik told ANI here.

The held valley is facing curfew and restrictions since the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status.

The leaders will go to Srinagar and plan to visit other parts of the state, if allowed.

Trinamul tweeted: "Senior Trinamool Congress leader Dinesh Trivedi to visit Srinagar on Saturday along with other Opposition leaders".

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