New Delhi, Aug 24: The CPI(M) Politburo on Saturday condemned the refusal of the Jammu and Kashmir administration to permit an eleven-member delegation, representing eight political parties – the Congress, CPI(M), CPI, DMK, NCP, JD(S), RJD and the TMC from visiting the state.
"Denial of entry to leaders of recognised political parties is an outright attack on the rights of political parties to meet and address their constituents. Misbehaviour of police with media at Srinagar airport: direct attempt to suppress press freedom, done to conceal ground realities", party said in a statement, titled 'Daylight robbery of rights guaranteed by the Constitution.'
The joint delegation, including former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, had gone to Srinagar this morning to make an assessment of the prevailing situation against the political lock-down in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution.
However, the administration denied their entry into valley, citing law and order situation in the state and sent them back to Delhi.
"If 'normalcy' exists in the valley as claimed by the government, why is it stopping representatives of political parties from meeting the people? People throughout the country are watching this blatant trampling upon of the democratic rights of people and their representatives by a party which seeks to impose a totalitarian regime", party added.
Talking to reporters in New Delhi airport, after being sent back from Srinagar, Mr Gandhi said 'Some days ago, I was invited by the Governor to visit Jammu and Kashmir. 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 beaten. It's clear that the situation in J&K isn't normal.' (UNI)