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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Yashwant Sinha allowed to enter Srinagar, will try to meet detained leaders

"On way to Srinagar, Kashmir with the Concerned Citizens Group to make an independent assessment of the situation on the ground and the economic loss caused by the government's action. Hope will be allowed to enter," Sinha had tweeted earlier in the day.

Written by Adil Akhzer | Srinagar | Updated: November 23, 2019 2:11:47 am
Former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha along with journalist Bharat Bhushan and civil society activist Kapil Kak address the media in Srinagar on Friday. (Express photo/Shuaib Masoodi)

Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha, who was forced to return from Srinagar airport by the Jammu and Kashmir administration in September, was allowed entry Friday. Along with Sinha, the administration also allowed former bureaucrat Wajahat Habibullah, journalist Bharat Bhushan and civil society activist Kapil Kak to visit Srinagar.

“On way to Srinagar, Kashmir with the Concerned Citizens Group to make an independent assessment of the situation on the ground and the economic loss caused by govt’s action. Hope will be allowed to enter,” Sinha had tweeted earlier in the day.

The four-member team are on a four-day visit to the state to assess the ground situation in the region after the central government nullified Article 370, which gave the erstwhile state special powers.

As of now, Sinha and others are meeting locals in the Valley. They will also try and meet the mainstream political leaders in detention, a source said.

The members of the Concerned Citizens’ Group plan to return on November 25 and release their report on the ground situation in the region, the former Union minister had earlier said.

After he was ‘forcibly’ sent back from Srinagar by the Jammu and Kashmir administration earlier, the former minister said he was deported as if he was a “hijacker” and “terrorist”.

“When we reached there, a person came to me and introduced himself as the Deputy Commissioner of Budgam. There were other police officials with him. He said he is my admirer. But I sensed that there is something wrong. Then he said that others can go to Kashmir but you cannot be allowed,” Sinha had told The Indian Express.

The central government on August 5 announced its decision to nullify Article 370 and also brought in a law to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into Union territories. Rajya Sabha gave its nod on the same day, while Lok Sabha followed suit the next day.

The government had imposed security and communication restrictions. A number of these measures have been relaxed since, though internet blockade remains in place.

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