Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad was barred from entering Jammu and Kashmir and sent back from the Srinagar airport on Thursday.
A Congress leader and former CM, Azad said it was his right to visit the state from where he is a Rajya Sabha MP. He accused the BJP government of having “ruined” and “mercilessly massacred” the state by “dismembering” it. Follow Jammu and Kashmir LIVE updates
Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja are planning to travel to Srinagar on Friday.
Speaking to reporters on his return to Delhi, Azad said he could see deserted roads in Srinagar from his aircraft. He said there was not a single vehicle on the entire 80-km stretch of national highways around Srinagar. “Probably for the first time in history we have witnessed this. Even during curfew such a situation was not seen,” he said.
Azad said that passengers at Srinagar airport told him that no one is allowed to go out of their homes and even visit neighbours, and wondered if the government wanted to implement its decision by force. Azad was accompanied by J&K Congress chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir.
“Maybe (PM Narendra) Modi sahib wants to implement the new ‘black law’ by force, by imposing curfew in 22 districts and then govern. What kind of governance is this… They have ruined the state and they should be ashamed of doing so…,” he said.
“The state of Jammu and Kashmir has been massacred by the government mercilessly. All laws made by the state earlier have been scrapped… We have been dismembered. We have lost our identity. We have lost everything.”
Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also hit out at the government. “…the situation in Kashmir now is like a concentration camp with all communication links snapped and people confined to their homes”, he said.
Azad came under attack from the BJP after he, in reply to a question on a video clip showing National Security Advisor Ajit Doval having a conversation and food with people in Shopian, said “anyone can be brought along with money”. The BJP demanded an apology from him.