Yashwant Sinha stopped, sent back by ‘court’ at Srinagar airport

Bashaarat Masood
Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha

The Jammu and Kashmir administration sent former Union minister Yashwant Sinha back to New Delhi on Tuesday after a drama of over five hours at at Srinagar airport.

Sinha s three associates senior journalist Bharat Bhushan, civil society member Kapil Kak and Sushoba Bharve were allowed to enter Srinagar.

On Tuesday morning, Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar Tariq Ahmad Ganai, Budgam SP Amod Nagpuri, and SP (Anti-Hijacking) Javed Iqbal stopped Sinha at the airport s arrival lounge.

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They told us you three (Bhushan, Bharve and Kak) are free to go but stopped him (Sinha), Bhushan told The Indian Express. He said Sinha then asked Ganai and the SPs to serve him written orders. He asked the DC to hold court at the airport, and that he would plead his case, Bhushan said.

After nearly two hours Ganai, who is also the District Magistrate, served an order stating that there is possibility of disturbance of peace and public tranquility if Sinha is allowed to move beyond the arrival lounge, and was thus being stopped as per Section 144 CrPC.

Sinha argued that the order doesn t ask him to go back, Bharve said. He insisted that a court be held at the airport lounge so that he can plead his case.

Ganai then held a court and told Sinha that he has inputs that his arrival will lead to beach of peace, Bhushan said.

After Sinha refused to fly back and said he will hold a sit-in protest, the SP came with a second written order. But Sinha, Bharve said, said he had been an IAS officer himself and they have no option but to arrest him under Section 188 for defying Section 144.

Around 5 pm, police officials came with a wheelchair and asked Sinha to sit while his associates were locked in the arrival lounge.

In Delhi, Sinha said state officials said he must get into a car which would take him to the city. The car, however, stopped at a boarding gate and Sinha was taken out. I protested and tried to get up (but) was pinned down on my wheelchair by use of force. I was then forcibly put on the flight back, Sinha said. with ENS, Delhi