New Delhi: Hours after a delegation of opposition leaders led by Rahul Gandhi arrived at IGI airport here, the Congress party slammed the Narendra Modi government and asked why the leaders were not allowed to visit the Valley if the situation there is normal.

“If the situation in Jammu & Kashmir is “normal” as the govt claims, why has the delegation of Opposition leaders led by Rahul Gandhi been sent back from Srinagar airport? What is the Modi govt trying to hide?, ” asked Congress on micro-blogging site Twitter. 

The Congress party also condemned the reports which claimed that media persons were mishandled by the Srinagar police. “Reports are coming in of media persons being aggressively handled by the Srinagar police and blocked from meeting with Opposition leaders delegation. We strongly condemn these draconian measures against the media,” the party tweeted.

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi, while speaking to reporters after arriving at Delhi airport reiterated that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is not normal. “Some days ago I was invited by 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,” Rahul told reporters.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who accompanied Gandhi said that the situation in J&K is terrifying. “We weren’t allowed to go to the city, but the situation in J&K is terrifying. The stories we heard from the passengers of Kashmir present in our flight, would bring tears even to a stone,” claimed Azad.

Earlier in the day, the delegation of opposition leaders was sent back to Delhi, soon after they landed at the Srinagar airport. The delegation wanted to visit the Valley to take stock of the situation following the abrogation of Article 370– which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Notably, the Valley has been placed under security lockdown since August 5, when Article 370 was abrogated.