NEW DELHI – Congressman Rahul Gandhi and Ghulam Nabi Azad among 20 opposition members in India were compelled to leave when their plane arrived at Srinagar Airport on Saturday for touring the hills to show solidarity with the occupied Kashmir individuals.
Speaking to the media before boarding the flight, the opposition leader had said they wanted to assess the situation in the valley which has been under lockdown for three weeks now.
This was the second attempt to visit the valley by opposition leaders and the first by Gandhi after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s abolished the special status of the valley.
At least 400 Kashmiri leaders have been under house arrest since August 5 with the lockdown entering its 20th day in the valley on Saturday. Those arrested include politicians Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Ghulam Ahmed Mir and Shah Faesal.
The jails and police stations have run out of space and many detainees have been lodged in makeshift detention centres.
No communication and strict curfew have also led to an acute shortage of baby food and vital medicines.