Opposition team may be stopped at Srinagar Airport, sent back: Cops

Opposition team may be stopped at Srinagar Airport, sent back: Cops

Opposition team may be stopped at Srinagar Airport, sent back: Cops

Official sources told UNI that the 12-member delegation - including Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad (INC), Sharad Pawar (NCP), and Left leaders D Raja and Sitaram Yechury - were stopped immediately after they disembarked from a flight at Srinagar International Airport.

The opposition delegation is visiting Jammu and Kashmir to assess the situation there following the Narendra Modi government's decision on August 5 to abrogate Article 370 and bifurcate the state.

Top Congress leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma had accompanied Rahul Gandhi.

Amid restrictions imposed in the region since the abrogation of Article-370, the delegation was not allowed to step out of Srinagar airport and was sent back after an hour.

"We wanted to get a sense of what people are going through and help them if we could".

Kashmiris were barred from holding a protest demonstration outside the United Nations office in Srinagar after Friday prayers against India's provocative August 5 move and its illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir. "I have never seen such a contradiction".

The senior politician added that Opposition leaders are equally concerned with regard to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

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"You [the government] talk of stopping them, I think it can not be justified in any manner", he said.

On Friday, the J&K administration had advised the opposition leaders not to visit, saying attempts should not be made to disturb the gradual restoration of normalcy in the state.

The twelve political leaders from various opposition parties who visited the Valley but were not allowed to step out of the airport signed on a representation, asking the authorities that it should be handed over to Governor Satyapal malik. "If things are normal there, why aren't we allowed to visit the place?"

"We are all responsible political parties and leaders".

Azad was twice stopped at Jammu airport, most recently, and was "forcibly" sent back to Delhi on each occasion.

Meanwhile, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said he spoke by phone with U.N. Secretary General António Guterres and discussed alleged human rights violations by India and the security situation in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Restrictions were eased in most areas of Kashmir this week, with barricades being lifted and the movement of people and traffic increasing gradually, but markets remained shut and mobile and Internet services suspended for the 18th day on Thursday.

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