CPI Chief D Raja (left) and CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury address a press conference in New Delhi. Photo: PTI
The Left parties hit out at the government on Friday after CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and CPI chief D Raja were barred from entering Kashmir, saying if the situation was normal, why the two leaders were stopped at the Srinagar airport.
Speaking at a briefing here after being sent back, Yechury recalled former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's famous statement -- "Jamhuriyat, Insaniyat, Kashmiriyat" and said that it was an irony that the BJP forgot their own PM's advise on solving the problem in the Valley.
"We were in judicial and police custody. They had an order in my name which they showed me and said that we had to go back by the same flight we came on. We refused and sat there for four hours. We had given them prior information about our visit. There was no reason to detain us.
"The real truth of Jammu and Kashmir is not out. If all is well, then why were we stopped?" asked Yechury.
Yechury and Raja had both written to governor Satya Pal Malik on Thursday informing him of their visit and requesting him to facilitate their entry.
"Both of us had written to the Jammu and Kashmir governor requesting him that there should be no hurdles for our visit. The situation is tense in the state and we could feel it even at the airport. The people had the right to know what is happening there. India doesn't belong to BJP. We have the right to go anywhere in the country," said Raja.
Both the leaders said that Kashmir is a part of India and so are Kashmiris and one is not possible without the other.
Recalling their detention, the leaders said that as soon as they landed at the airport, their bags were taken away from them and they were escorted to a room where they were asked to take the same flight back to Delhi.
Upon their refusal, they said that a magistrate was summoned who had orders for their detention and their removal from the airport. The orders also said that they cannot even be sent into the city with escorts as there could be a "law and order issue".
"It was BJP PM Vajpayee who said that 'Jamhuriyat, Insaniyat, Kashmiriyat' and only on the basis of these three things that the Kashmir problem can be solved. So, the issue is not about land, but sentiments, which this government has forgotten," Yechury said.
On Thursday, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad was detained and sent back to Delhi from the Srinagar airport.
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.