India

'Got taste of brute force unleashed on J&K people': Rahul Gandhi after being sent back from Srinagar airport

'Got taste of brute force unleashed on J&K people': Rahul Gandhi after being sent back from Srinagar airport

A day after being detained and then being sent back from Srinagar airport, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi Sunday hit out at the Centre saying Kashmir has been under “draconian administration & brute force.” He added that the people in Kashmir have been curtailed from their liberties.

“It’s been 20 days since the people of Jammu & Kashmir had their freedom & civil liberties curtailed. Leaders of the Opposition & the Press got a taste of the draconian administration & brute force unleashed on the people of J&K when we tried to visit Srinagar yesterday,” Rahul wrote on Twitter.

On Saturday, a delegation of 12 Opposition leaders, along with Rahul Gandhi, were detained at the Srinagar airport and then sent back to Delhi. The leaders went to visit Srinagar after Rahul was “invited” by Governor Satya Pal Malik to stake stock of the situation in the Valley.

Upon his return, Rahul said that it was clear that the situation in the Valley was not normal. He added that if restrictions are in place because of Section 144, then he was ready to go individually.

“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,” he told reporters.

Jammu and Kashmir government spokesperson Rohit Kansal, on being asked why the delegation was not allowed, read out a tweet saying, “… Attempts should not be made by senior political leaders to disturb the gradual restoration of normal life. Political leaders are requested to cooperate and not visit Srinagar…”

The delegation of leaders, which included Congress’s Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and KC Venugopal, CPM’s Sitaram Yechury, DMK’s Tiruchi Siva, TMC’s Dinesh Trivedi, CPI’s D Raja, NCP’s Majeed Memom, RJD’s Manoj Jha, D Kupendra Reddy of JD(S) and Sharad Yadav of LJD, wrote a letter to Budgam DM saying that they were “invited” by the Governor himself to see the normalcy in the Valley.