Rahul Gandhi and other Indian political leaders sent back from Srinagar airport

NEW DELHI:  Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and 11 leaders of other opposition parties who landed today at Srinagar airport were sent back to Delhi, news agency ANI reported. Restrictions have been imposed in Jammu and Kashmir since the Indian government withdrew special status from the state and divided it into two union territories earlier this month.

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According to reports in Indian media, a delegation of opposition leaders comprising Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, D Raja, Sharad Yadav, Manoj Jha, Majeed Memon and others that had reached Srinagar had been sent back.

The Indian opposition leaders were expected to visit some other parts of the valley, however, authorities in occupied Kashmir did not allow any Indian leader to enter the valley.

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.

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