Kashmir news: Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that there was something very wrong with the government’s decision to allow the European Parliament delegation to visit Kashmir. Gandhi himself was denied entry to Kashmir in August after the Jammu and Kashmir authorities sent him back from Srinagar airport.
Congress has termed the EU delegation’s Tuesday visit to Kashmir an outright insult to the Indian Parliament and the world’s largest democracy. CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, who was sent back to Delhi along with Gandhi, asked why the government was repeatedly preventing parliamentarians from exiting the airport in Srinagar. He said that he went to Srinagar only after the Supreme Court permitted him.
Earlier in a day, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehboba Mufti also questioned why Gandhi scion was barred from visiting Valley. Iltija Mufti, who is operating Mehbooba’s Twitter handle, said that instead of Gandhi, the government has now allowed EU delegation which according to her comprise of far-right and fascist-leaning members.
CPI (M) leader Mohammad Salim also asked why the majority of the parliamentarians in the EU delegation belong to what he said as xenophobic and islamophobic ultra-right wing parties. He also said that if the visiting delegation has the freedom to walk in Kashmir, same should be given to Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba and other opposition leaders in India.
Meanwhile, EU delegation’s Tuesday visit to Kashmir is a first-of-its-kind since the dilution of Article 370 and Article 35 A. The decision to allow a foreign delegation was criticized by the entire opposition. Last month, the Central government disallowed US Senator Chris Van Hollen to Kashmir.
The EU delegation met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in Delhi earlier in the day.