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Published On: Sat, Aug 24th, 2019

If everything is “normal” in J&K why are we not allowed out?:Rahul Gandhi

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1qv74k6c_rahul-gandhi-pti-_625x300_23_August_19NEW DELHI : The situation in Jammu and Kashmir is “clearly not normal”, claimed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Saturday after a delegation of opposition leaders were denied permission to step out of the Srinagar airport and sent back to Delhi. He said that the move by the state administration proved the law and order situation in Jammu and Kashmir was “not normal”.
Speaking to reporters after landing at Delhi airport, the Gandhi scion said that the delegation, comprising of 12 opposition leaders, wanted to get a sense of what people were undergoing, however, they were not allowed to move beyond the airport. He further alleged that media personnel who accompanied the delegation were “mishandled” and “beaten up”.
“Some days ago I was invited by the governor to visit J&K. I accepted the invitation. We wanted to get a sense of what people are going through, but we weren’t allowed beyond the airport. Press people with us were mishandled, beaten. It’s clear that the situation in J&K isn’t normal,” news agency ANI quoted Gandhi as saying.


Later, the Congress party’s Twitter handle wrote, “The govt is saying everything is okay here & everything is normal. If everything is normal why are we not allowed out?
The delegation comprised of Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and KC Venugopal, CPIM’s Sitaram Yechuri, CPI’s D Raja, RJD’s Manoj Jha, JDS’s Kupendra Reddy, NCP’s Majeed Memon, DMK’s Tiruchi Siva, LJD’s Sharad Yadav, and TMC’s Dinesh Trivedi.
The delegation of opposition leaders had gone to Srinagar to review the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir after Governor Satya Pal Malik had “invited” Gandhi. He said he was invited by Governor Satya Pal Malik to visit the state to witness that normalcy was restored after weeks of restrictions over the centre’s decision to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir and the state’s bifurcation.
“We wanted to get a sense of what people are going through and help the situation if we could. But unfortunately we were not allowed to go beyond the airport. The press people with us were mishandled, beaten. It’s clear that things are not normal in Jammu and Kashmir,” Mr Gandhi added.
Responding to Malik’s offer of sending an aircraft for the former Congress chief to visit Jammu and Kashmir and see the prevailing situation, Gandhi had said that instead of the aircraft, he would need “freedom” to travel and meet people.
Taking to Twitter, the Jammu And Kashmir Information and Public Relations Department had said on Friday that political leaders should “not visit Srinagar as they would be putting other people to inconvenience” at a “time when the government is trying to protect the people of J&K from the threat of cross border terrorism and attacks…”
This comes after BJP-led central government revoked Article 370 and passed a bill in Parliament which bifurcated the state into two Union Territories. The Centre had imposed several restrictions in the Valley following the revocation in an effort to maintain peace and avoid any untoward incident.(With Agency Inputs ).








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