Don't attempt to disturb peace process: J&K govt warns ahead of Oppn leaders' visit

Don't attempt to disturb peace process: J&K govt warns ahead of Oppn leaders' visit
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government issued a statement on Friday night asking political leaders not to visit the Valley as it would disturb the gradual restoration of peace and normal life.

It also said the visit by politicians would be in violation of restrictions that have been imposed in many areas of the Valley.

The statement comes close on the heels of a proposed visit by opposition members, including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, on Saturday to meet people of Kashmir where restrictions are imposed after the Centre withdrew special status to the state.

The statement from the Jammu and Kashmir administration said at a time when the government is trying to protect the people of the state from the threat of cross-border terrorism and attacks by militants and separatists and gradually trying to restore public order by controlling miscreants and mischief-mongers, attempts should not be made by senior political leaders to disturb the gradual restoration of normal life.

"Political leaders are requested to cooperate and not visit Srinagar as they would be putting other people to inconvenience. They would also be violating restrictions that are still there in many areas. Senior leaders should understand that top priority would be given to maintaining peace, order and preventing loss of human lives," the statement said.

So far, the government has not allowed any political leader to enter the state ever since the Centre abrogated provisions of Article 370.

Opposition leaders to visit J&K

A delegation of opposition leaders will visit Srinagar on Saturday to meet people and assess situation in the Kashmir Valley.

According to sources, some of the parties that will be part of the opposition all-party delegation are Congress, CP(M), CPI, RJD, NCP, TMC and DMK.

The sources said top Congress leaders who will visit Srinagar are Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma. Rahul Gandhi is likely to accompany them.

CPI(M)'s Sitaram Yechury, CPI's D Raja, DMK's Tiruchi Siva, RJD's Manoj Jha and Dinesh Trivedi from TMC will also be part of the delegation that will leave for Srinagar around noon from Delhi airport.

"Senior Trinamool Congress leader Dinesh Trivedi @DinTri to visit Srinagar on Saturday along with other Opposition leaders. They will see the situation in the valley after abrogation of Article 370," the TMC tweeted.

Senior Congress leaders were huddled in a meeting on Friday evening to discuss the issue within the party.

The sources said the leaders also intend to visit some other parts of the state, if allowed to enter.

Leaders of regional parties, including former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have been put under house arrest. Congress MP Azad was not allowed to enter the state and was stopped twice, both at Srinagar and Jammu.

Earlier, Raja was also stopped at Srinagar airport and sent back.

Rahul Gandhi had recently asked Governor Satya Pal Malik when he could come to the state and meet people without any conditions.

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