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‘What Is Modi Govt Trying To Hide?’: Congress Party Slams Govt For Sending Opposition Leaders’ Delegation Back From Srinagar Airport

"The denial of entry to well-known leaders of recognised political parties is an outright attack on the rights of political parties to meet and address their constituents," the CPI(M) said in a statement.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and 11 leaders of various Opposition parties who landed today at Srinagar airport were reportedly sent back to Delhi. The delegation reportedly included leaders from the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Communist Party of India, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Nationalist Congress Party, the Trinamool Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

As per a Times Of India report, however, the CPI(M) claimed that the delegation was not allowed to leave Srinagar airport by the administration.

A statement from CPI(M)’s Politburo slammed the government over “denial of entry” into Srinagar to opposition leaders, alleging it was “daylight robbery of rights” guaranteed by the Constitution.

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“The delegation had planned to visit various parts of the state over the next few days, talking to various people and sections of the populace and shades of political opinion to ascertain the situation existing on the ground and the difficulties that they are encountering as a result of the shutdown in the Kashmir valley for days together,” the statement said.

“The denial of entry to well-known leaders of recognised political parties is an outright attack on the rights of political parties to meet and address their constituents,” it added.

Further, the statement asked, “If ‘normalcy’ exists in the Valley as claimed by the government, why is it stopping representatives of political parties from meeting the people?”

Governor Satya Pal Malik, speaking to ANI, said, “There is no need for him now, he was needed when his colleague was speaking in the Parliament. If he wants to aggravate the situation & come here to repeat the lie he told in Delhi; it is not good.”

The Congress party on Twitter, reacting to this restriction, asked what the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party was trying to hide.

“If the situation in Jammu & Kashmir is “normal” as the govt claims, why has the delegation of Opposition leaders led by Shri Rahul Gandhi been sent back from Srinagar airport? What is the Modi govt trying to hide?”

The party also said, “Reports are coming in of media persons being aggressively handled by the Srinagar police & blocked from meeting with Opposition leaders delegation. We strongly condemn these draconian measures against the media. ”

Yesterday, on the matter of Rahul Gandhi and other leaders visiting the region, the Department of Information and Public Relations of the government of Jammu and Kashmir took to Twitter to announce 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 Jammu and Kashmir from the threat of cross border terrorism and attacks.”

In the aftermath of the Centre’s bid to amend Article 370 of the Constitution, Jammu and Kashmir has been isolated from the rest of India through massive militarisation, a communications clampdown and curfew.

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