Opposition leaders, who had flown to take stock of the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturdy, alleged that they were detained at the airport in Srinagar in an 'unconstitutional' and 'undemocratic' manner.
Talking to media persons here after they were sent back by the administration of Jammu and Kashmir, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said that they have written to District Magistrate of Budgam stating that their detention at Srinagar airport was 'undemocratic and unconstitutional.'
"When we were detained at the airport lounge, we demanded to know under what charges we have been detained. We also wanted to see the order's copy. According to laws, we should have been given a copy of the same but we were not given a copy. They read it out and requested us not to insist on getting a copy," said Yechury.
"The order said that we were coming there to mobilise the people in order to create a disturbance, etc., which is an absolute fabrication. So we decided there that we will respond and hence we wrote the letter which is signed by 12 of us representing 10 political parties," he said.
The letter written by 12 leaders reads: "We are here at the public invitation of the honourable Governor, who asked us to visit and see for ourselves the peace and normalcy that prevail. We are responsible political leaders and elected representatives and our intentions are entirely peaceful and humtarian. We are here to express solidarity with the people Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as well to expedite the process of return to normalcy."
"The tone and tenor of the order read out attributes to us motives which are baseless and lack substance. We record our strong objection to the basis of our detention, which prima facie is undemocratic and unconstitutional. This denial of our movement is Srinagar also amounts to a violation of our fundamental rights," they further said in the letter.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who accomped the delegation, said: "We were not allowed to go to the city, but the situation in J&K is terrifying. The stories we heard from the passengers of Kashmir present in our flight would bring tears even to a stone."
A delegation of parties including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was on Saturday not allowed to go out of Srinagar airport and was sent back to Delhi. The delegation comprising leaders of opposition parties like Congress, CPI, DMK, RJD, TMC, NCP, and JDS to see the ground reality days after the Centre abrogated Article 370.
Senior leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad Congress, Anand Sharma, Sitaram Yechury, Sharad Yadav, Manoj Jha, Majeed Memon, Tiruchi Shiva, and D Raja were the part of the delegation which left from Delhi for Srinagar earlier in the day.
Before leaving from Delhi airport, the leaders had insisted that they were only going to assess the ground realities and not for creating any disturbance.
( With inputs from ANI )