J&K HIGHLIGHTS: Clear that situation isn’t normal, Rahul after being sent back from Srinagar airport

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Ghulam Nabi Azad, Left party leader D Raja and DMK MP Tiruchi Siva return from Srinagar, at IGI airport in New Delhi, Saturday, Aug 24, 2019. A delegation of opposition leaders who visited Srinagar to assess the situation in the Kashmir Valley were sent back from the airport by J&K authorities. (Express Photo By Amit Mehra)

A delegation of opposition leaders, led-by former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, was sent back to Delhi from the Srinagar airport Saturday evening. On an invitation from the Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik to stake stock of the situation in the Valley, the 12-member delegation had left for the Valley, earlier today. However, they were detained at the airport and made to return to the capital.

On returning to Delhi, Rahul said that it is clear that the situation in the Valley is not normal. "Some days ago I was invited by Governor to visit J&K. I accepted the invitation. We wanted to get a sense of what ppl are going through, but we weren’t allowed beyond the airport. Press ppl with us were mishandled, beaten. It’s clear that situation in J&K isn’t normal," he said.

The delegation termed their detention at the Srinagar airport as "undemocratic and unconstitutional". In a signed letter to the Budgam District magistrate, they wrote: "We are responsible political leaders and elected representatives and our intentions are entirely peaceful and humanitarian. We are here to express solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as well as to expedite the process of return to normalcy."