Congress Leader Heads To Kashmir Today, May Be Sent Back From Airport

Congress Leader Heads To Kashmir Today, May Be Sent Back From Airport

Congress Leader Heads To Kashmir Today, May Be Sent Back From Airport 

New Delhi: Senior leader of the Congress party, Ghulam Nabi Azad is reported to be travelling today to Jammu and Kashmir, today. The state of Jammu and Kashmir, which has been on a security lockdown since midnight Sunday to head off trouble over the centre's big decisions to end special status under Article 370 and to split the state into two union territories.

The Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad plans to visit Srinagar and meet with Congress leaders. Reports suggest he may be sent back from the airport because of the massive restrictions still in place.

Around 400 people have been detained across the state, as "precaution", and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah remain in custody at safehouses.

"The people of Jammu and Kashmir are sad. I am going there to be a part of their sadness, to be with them," Mr Azad told reporters. "Probably for the first time, all 22 districts have seen a curfew. Have you heard of this before?"

The Congress MP also implied that visuals on Wednesday showing National Security Adviser Ajit Doval chatting with Kashmiris in Srinagar and sharing a meal with them on the streets - seen to be an attempt to convey that the situation is returning to normal - were a set-up.

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"You can pay anyone to get these done," Mr Azad said.

However, the former Chief Minister faces a divide within his own party on the government's Jammu and Kashmir move. While he has argued strongly in parliament against what he calls the "murder of democracy", several Congress leaders have come out in the government's support. They include Jyotiraditya Scindia, Janardhan Dwivedi, Deepender Hooda and Milind Deora.

At a meet on Tuesday of the Congress Working Committee, the party's top decision-making body, Mr Azad spoke at length about the Kashmir decision, explaining his strong opposition to the move.

Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra avoided speaking directly against the government's move but criticised the way it was pushed through without consultations.

The CWC finally put out a resolution condemning the Kashmir move as "unilateral, brazen and undemocratic".

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