New Delhi: Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi will visit Kashmir for the first time today after the abrogation of Article 370 with regard to J&K, along with at least nine other opposition leaders.
Days ago, Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Ghulam Nabi Azad had also tried to visit Kashmir but was stopped at the Jammu airport and sent back to Delhi.
Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and KC Venugopal of Congress, Tiruchi Siva of DMK, Dinesh Trivedi of TMC, CPI’s D Raja, CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury, RJD’s Manoj Jha, Majeed Memon of NCP & Kupendra Reddy of JD(S) will be a part of the delegation.
The J&K government took no time to react and requested political leaders not to visit Srinagar.
“Political leaders are requested to cooperate and not visit Srinagar as they would be putting other people to inconvenience. They would also be violating restrictions that are still there in many areas,” tweeted Department of Information and Public Relations, J&K government.
“At a time when the government is trying to protect the people of Jammu & Kashmir from the threat of cross border terrorism and attacks by militants and separatists and gradually trying to restore public order by controlling miscreants and mischief mongers, attempts should not be made by senior political leaders to disturb the gradual restoration of normal life,” the public relations department tweeted.
Earlier, J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik had invited Rahul Gandhi to visit Kashmir but Rahul wanted the freedom to travel and meet the people, mainstream leaders.
Malik declined the request and said, “seeking to bring a delegation of Opposition leaders to create further unrest and problems for the common people.”
Later, Rahul Gandhi, in a sharp retort, tweeted, “Dear Maalik ji, I saw your feeble reply to my tweet. I accept your invitation to visit Jammu & Kashmir and meet the people, with no conditions attached. When can I come?”
Former J&K Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti have been under house arrest for almost three weeks and many regional leaders have also been detained.