J&K admin asks Rahul, leaders to stay away from Srinagar

Srinagar: As a delegation of opposition parties, led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, is set to visit Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday in the wake of abrogation of Article 370, the administration requested them against visiting the state, saying attempts should not be made to disturb the gradual restoration of normal life.

In a series of tweets, the Information and Public Relations Department of the Jammu & Kashmir government said: “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.

“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. Senior leaders should understand that top priority would be given to maintaining peace, order and preventing loss of human lives.”

A delegation of nine opposition parties led by Gandhi will visit Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday to meet the people and party leaders in the region where restrictions have been imposed since the abrogation of Article 370.

A senior Congress leader told IANS that “Rahul Gandhi along with senior party leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and leaders from CPI, CPI-M, RJD, DMK and others will be part of the delegation”.

Saturday’s visit to Srinagar will be Gandhi’s first visit since the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

The Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party are not part of the delegation, the Congress leader said.

Earlier, Azad was not allowed to enter Srinagar once and Jammu twice and was sent back to Delhi. Similarly, CPI and CPI-M General Secretaries D. Raja and Sitaram Yechury were also not allowed to enter Srinagar and were detained at the airport and then sent back to Delhi.

Earlier this month, Gandhi also had a run-in with Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satyapal Malik on Twitter. The Governor had said that Gandhi was trying to politicise the matter of Jammu and Kashmir and that he should visit the valley if he wants to know the “real ground situation.”