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Delhi:

The delegation of various opposition leaders, including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who had attempted to visit Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday afternoon, was sent back. The visit was aimed at reviewing the situation of the state amidst the media clampdown, and siege by the Indian government.

The delegation includes Communist Party of India leader D Raja, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and KC Venugopal, Loktantrik Janata Dal chief Sharad Yadav, Trinamool Congress leader Dinesh Trivedi, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Tiruchi Siva, Nationalist Congress Party’s
Majeed Memon, Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj Jha and Janata Dal (Secular) leader D Kupendra Reddy.

Ahead of the visit, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad was quoted as saying: “Government says the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is normal. Then, they do not allow leaders to visit the state….haven’t seen such contradiction. Why are Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, and Farooq Abdullah under house arrest? Why aren’t they allowing me to go to my home? If it’s normal, why aren’t we allowed?”

Nationalist Congress Party’s Majeed Memon, who is also part of the delegation, said that the government was scared that their presence would create disturbances. “Our motive is not to go and create disturbances,” he had said.

“Political leaders are requested to cooperate and not visit Srinagar as they would be putting other people to inconvenience,” the official Twitter handle of the department said.

“They would also be violating restrictions that are still there in many areas. Senior leaders should understand that top priority would be given to maintaining peace, order and preventing loss of human lives.”

The situation in the state is still ambiguous with contradictions in the narratives of central government and ground reports that are coming out. Most of its political leaders have either been detained or arrested and thousands of security forces have been deployed.

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