Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad Tuesday said the situation in the Valley is “very bad.” Azad, who is on his maiden six-day tour of Jammu and Kashmir after the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5, said, “I do not have to say anything to media right now. I spent four days in Kashmir and arrived Jammu to two more days. After the end of the six-day tour, I will say whatever I have to say.”
His three earlier bids to visit Jammu and Kashmir, his home state, had failed as he was sent back from the airport by the authorities. Azad’s visit became possible after the Supreme Court on September 16 allowed him to visit Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramullah and Jammu districts to inquire about the welfare of the people in the Valley.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had said that the Congress leader is free to interact with people during his visit to the Valley.
Talking about his current visit and submitting of an assessment report of the situation in the state to the Supreme Court, he said, “I was not even allowed by the administration to visit 10 per cent of the places where I had planned to go in the Valley during my stay there.”
Referring to the detention of the political leaders in the state, he further said, “There is no sign of freedom of speech in Jammu and Kashmir.”
The Congress leader had assured the court that he was not going to his home state to hold any political rally or event. In his petition, Azad had also sought permission to check on the social atmosphere in the state after the clampdown in the aftermath of the Centre’s August 5 decision to dilute Article 370 and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories.
The apex court had earlier granted permission to CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury to travel to Srinagar to meet his party colleague and former legislator Yusuf Tarigami.
At the very outset, he said that he does not want to say anything to media. He will be staying here for two days before returning to Delhi.
(With inputs with PTI)
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