Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who has been sent back from Srinagar airport thrice following the Centre’s decision to scrap J&K special status, has moved the Supreme Court seeking permission to visit his home state to enquire about the well being of his family members.
The former J&K chief minister’s petition is scheduled to be taken up by a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde and S Abdul Nazeer on Monday, PTI reported.
In his petition, Azad has also sought permission to check on the social atmosphere in the state after the clampdown imposed by the authorities in the aftermath of the Centre’s August 5 decision to dilute Article 370 and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories.
Azad, who represents Jammu and Kashmir in Rajya Sabha, had attempted to visit the state thrice in August but was barred by the authorities each time and sent back to Delhi. On August 25, Azad was accompanied by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and a delegation of Opposition leaders but was detained and then being sent back from Srinagar airport.
Jammu and Kashmir government spokesperson Rohit Kansal had then said the decision was taken as a preventive measure. “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,” Kansal had said.
Last month, the Supreme Court had allowed CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury to visit Jammu and Kashmir to enquire about colleague Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami’s health. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, “If a citizen wants to visit a part of the country, he must have access to.”
Last week, the apex court allowed Iltija Mufti, the daughter of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, to travel to Srinagar to meet the PDP chief. Mufti has been kept under detention since August 5.