Tip News

May 24, 2020

India defends blocking politicians from visiting Kashmir - Tip News

India defends blocking politicians from visiting Kashmir

India defends blocking politicians from visiting Kashmir
'India's Hindu-nationalist government has been criticised by the main opposition Congress party over the contentious move on August 5 that brings Kashmir under its direct rule' - By: AFP Tauseef MUSTAFA

Authorities on Sunday defended blocking opposition Indian politicians from visiting Muslim-majority Kashmir, saying it was to "avoid controversy" weeks after stripping the restive region of its autonomy and imposing a major clampdown.

India's Hindu-nationalist government has been criticised by the main opposition Congress party over the contentious move on August 5 that brings Kashmir -- which has waged an armed rebellion against Indian control since 1989 -- under its direct rule.

The region remains under strict lockdown with movement limited and many phone and internet services cut, although authorities say they have been easing restrictions gradually.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, still a key figure in India as a scion of the powerful Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty, was earlier invited by local governor Satya Pal Malik to visit Kashmir.

But video released by Congress showed Gandhi questioning officials about why he was stopped from entering Kashmir's main city of Srinagar at the airport on Saturday.

"The governor has said I'm invited. He has invited me so I have come but you're saying I can't go," he said.

"And government is saying everything is OK, everything is normal. So if everything is normal, why are we not allowed out? It is a bit surprising."

Regional police chief Dilbagh Singh told AFP police supported the decision.

"In an environment that is getting to normalcy, we didn't want any controversial statement from anyone. That's why they were asked to return from the airport itself," Singh said.

Malik told the ANI news agency he invited Gandhi out of good will but that he then politicised the issue.

The controversy came as key separatist group Hurriyat Conference, a coalition of local political parties, released its first official comments since the clampdown and called for locals to "resist at this critical juncture" New Delhi's move.

"Each and every person must face the naked Indian brutality with courage... People should organise peaceful protests and demonstrations in their areas of residence," top separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani said in a statement obtained by AFP.

The Hurriyat Conference, which supports Kashmir's right to choose whether it wants to be part of India or Pakistan, added that Pakistan and the wider Muslim community should "come forward to... help the besieged people".

The call came as India's home affairs ministry refuted a report by India's News18 television on Sunday that the region was running out of lifesaving medicines, saying supplies were "slightly higher than the monthly average".

Short link: https://tipnews.com/u/MTA1MTY3

See also:

Related articles

Thousands protest in Hong Kong over China security law proposal

Thousands protest in Hong Kong over China security law proposal

Police fired tear gas and water cannon at thousands of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters who gathered Sunday against a controversial security law proposed by China, in the most intense clashes for months.As the demonstrators and police were facing off in the

Greece dismisses reports Turkey occupied border strip

Greece dismisses reports Turkey occupied border strip

Greece on Sunday dismissed reports that Turkish soldiers had occupied a strip of Greek territory in the Evros border region, where Athens is expanding a fence to keep migrants out.Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said allegations, picked up the the British press



HELLO, PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO RATE THIS POST India defends blocking politicians from visiting Kashmir

Sending comment Close