The Opposition Congress on Tuesday accused Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik of taking a “U-turn” by referring Rahul Gandhi’s Kashmir visit request to the local police and administration for examination. The Congress said that Malik should stand by his words and allow a delegation of the party to visit the Valley.
“The Governor is taking a U-turn. He made an offer that anyone can visit the valley to judge for themselves. Rahul Gandhi has taken him up on the offer. He should stand by his word & allow a multi-party delegation to visit Jammu and Kashmir unhindered,” the Congress party wrote on Twitter.
It all started with Jammu and Kashmir Governor’s open invitation to Rahul Gandhi, who had demanded the Centre and the state administration to clear the clouds of uncertainty over situation of the Valley following the abrogation of certain provisions of Article 370.
The Governor had said that the former Congress president should visit Kashmir and observe the situation over here before speaking anything about violence. Malik had even offered to provide Rahul a special plan for his Kashmir visit.
However, Rahul was quick to grab the opportunity and asked him to ensure him freedom to travel and meet locals and mainstream politicians. “We won't need an aircraft but please ensure us the freedom to travel and meet the people, mainstream leaders and our soldiers stationed over there," Gandhi replied.
However, Governor’s office soon came out with a statement and said that Rahul Gandhi has put forth many conditions for visiting Kashmir and referred his request to local police and administration for examination.
“Rahul Gandhi is politicising the matter by seeking to bring a delegation of opposition leaders to create further unrest and problems for the common people. As he has put forth many conditions for visiting J&K, Hon’ble Governor is referring the case to local police and administration to examine the request further,” Governor Office said in a statement.
There have been several reports of violent protests and gun firing in Kashmir in the International media. Prominent English news channel BBC had put out a video shot by their own cameraman showing thousands of people taking out a protest march in Srinagar and chanting slogans. The video also shows a scuffle between protests and security personnel while sound of continuous gunfire keeps coming in the background.
The Indian government, however, out rightly denied any reports of big protests and scuffle between protesters and security forces. The government also warned media against showing unverified reports of violence in Kashmir.