New Delhi: A delegation of Opposition leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, was sent back from Srinagar on Saturday. Opposition leaders criticised the government for hiding the truth and alleged that the Centre was lying about the security situation in the Union Territory.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik said his invitation to senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to visit the state was a goodwill gesture.
"I had invited him out of goodwill but he started doing politics, it was nothing but a political action by these people. Parties should keep in mind the national interest at these times," Malik told ANI.
The delegation of Opposition leaders from eight parties included senior Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Ghulam Nabi Azad, Communist Party of India general secretary D Raja, Manoj Jha, among others.
Opposition parties, including the Congress, left parties and Trinamool Congress, have been demanding that the central government allow leaders to visit Jammu & Kashmir to assess the situation. Leaders of regional parties, including former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have been put under house arrest.
"If the situation in Jammu & Kashmir is "normal" as the govt claims, why has the delegation of Opposition leaders led by Shri @RahulGandhi been sent back from Srinagar airport? What is the Modi govt trying to hide?," the Congress party said on its official Twitter handle.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury has filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court for production of party leader Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami, who has allegedly been under detention in Jammu and Kashmir since the Centre abrogated provisions of Article 370.
On Friday evening, Opposition parties decided to visit Kashmir. On Thursday, they held a protest demonstration on the issue in national capital's Jantar Mantar.
Earlier this month, Parliament approved a resolution scrapping special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and also passed The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill to split the state into two Union territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.