‘A sign of intolerance’, says Ghulam Nabi Azad after being blocked from entering J&K for second time in a month

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Published: August 20, 2019 7:03:00 PM

This is for the second time that the former Chief Minister has been blocked from entering Jammu and Kashmir in a month.

Ghulam Nabi Azad, rajya sabhaLeader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad

Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad was today stopped at the Jammu airport and sent back to Delhi. This is for the second time that the former Chief Minister has been blocked from entering Jammu and Kashmir in a month and since the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. On an earlier occasion, he was detained before being sent back to New Delhi.

“It’s not right for democracy. If mainstream political parties won’t visit (Kashmir), then who will go? Three former CMs of J&K already under house arrest and one former CM of J&K not being allowed to enter the state, it is a sign of intolerance,” Azad told news agency ANI.

Speaking of his visit, state Congress chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma told PTI that the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir had arrived in Jammu at 2:45 pm, but was not allowed to move out of the airport. “Azad sahib had arrived from Delhi at around 2.45 pm and was not allowed to move out from the airport and forcibly sent back in a return flight to Delhi at 4.10 pm,” he told PTI. According to a close associate of Azad, he was neither allowed to go home nor attend a party meeting at the state Congress headquarters

Earlier on August 8, he was detained briefly and was sent back from the Srinagar airport after restrictions were imposed in Jammu and Kashmir after the Centre’s move to scrap special status given to the state under Article 370 and also and bifurcate it into Union territories. A clampdown on communication services was imposed in the state ahead of the removal of Article 370 on August 5. Prohibitory orders were also placed across the state to ensure no untoward incident.

“It is unfortunate that he (Azad) is not allowed into his home state in the past two weeks,” Sharma was quoted as saying by the agency. “He is the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, member of Rajya Sabha from the state and leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha,” he added.

The Congress spokesperson further claimed that the Rajya Sabha MP just wanted to meet some people to know about the ongoing situation. “Denying him permission shows that how the mainstream national party is not being allowed to interact and discuss the current situation,” he added, while pointing out that the leaders of the Congress were not “trouble-makers” that the government was behaving the way it is.

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