New Delhi: High drama unfolded at the Srinagar airport as Opposition leaders led by Congress MP Rahul Gandhi reached the region to review the situation in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). As soon as Rahul Gandhi alighted from the flight with a dozen of Opposition leaders and dozens of media personnel, he was received by scores of police personnel inside the airport.
Taken aback by the large media presence, the Jammu and Kashmir police roughed up reporters and camerapersons blocking their way out. Some men in coloured uniform pushed the journalists in and out of the airport, leading to chaos at the arrival.
The J&K Police escorted Rahul Gandhi to a VIP lounge along with Ghulam Nabi Azad, KC Venugopal, Sitaram Yechury (CPM), D Raja (CPI), Anand Sharma, Dinesh Trivedi (TMC), Majeed Memon (NCP) and other leaders, and later booked their return ticket to Delhi.
Even as a cavalcade of cars was parked outside the airport, the delegation leaders weren’t allowed to exit the airport and were sent back to Delhi within a couple of hours.
“We don’t want to disrupt anything; we have just come to take stock of the situation in Srinagar. The government is claiming that the situation is normal. If it is so, then they should allow us to meet people,” Congress leader Anand Sharma said.
Speaking to the media after coming back to Delhi, Rahul Gandhi said that the media persons who were with the delegation were mishandled and beaten up and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir “clearly is not normal”.
Rahul Gandhi also said that the delegation wanted to get a sense of what people were going through in the region but “we were not allowed beyond the airport”.