Rahul Gandhi addresses supporters during an election rally. File
Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday slammed the government for not allowing a delegation of opposition parties to visit Kashmir, saying it indicated that the things in Valley are not normal.
A delegation of 12 leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, was detained soon after it landed at the Srinagar airport. They were made to wait at the airport before they were sent back by another flight to Delhi.
They landed back in Delhi around 6.45 p.m.
In Delhi, Rahul Gandhi told reporters that a few days back he was invited by the Governor to visit J&K and that he had accepted his invitation. "We wanted to get a sense of what people are going through, but we were not allowed beyond the airport."
Gandhi was on Saturday taken aback when a Kashmiri woman started narrating her ordeal to him and other Opposition leaders onboard the flight they were travelling back to Delhi from Srinagar, after denied entry to the city.
The video of the incident was shared on Twitter by Congress spokesperson Radhika Khera in which a Kashmiri woman is seen narrating how the lives of people had been affected after abrogation of Article 370 and lockdown in the Valley.
In the video, woman is is seen telling Rahul Gandhi, seated on a window seat, "Our children have not been able to move out of their houses. My brother is a heart patient. He could not see the doctor for 10 days. We are in trouble," she said sobbing.
Rahul can be seen getting up from his seat and console the woman, while other Congress leaders, like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, K.C. Venugopal, and other opposition leaders gave a patient hearing to the woman's emotional outburst."We are citizens of the country. So is everyone in Jammu and Kashmir. We are not people who will make things difficult for anyone. We just want to go and see the situation on the ground," Sharad Yadav told reporters.
Ghulam Nabi Azad also assured the media that they were not going to break any law as they were leaders of responsible political parties.
"The government says the situation in J&K is normal. But then they don't allow leaders to go there? Haven't seen such contradiction. If things are normal there, why aren't we allowed to visit the place?" Azad wondered.
Indo-Asian News Service
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"My father-in-law and mother-in-law stay there. Both are diabetic, have high blood pressure. Today is the 22nd day, neither me nor my husband have been able to speak to them. We have no clue if they have medicines available at home," she said.
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