Situation in J&K very bad, no freedom of speech: Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad arrived at Srinagar on Friday on his maiden visit to J&K after the revocation of Article 370 that gave special status to the state on August 5 and 6.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, currently on tour to Jammu and Kashmir, on Tuesday said there was “no freedom of speech in the state” and that “situation was very bad”.

He reached Jammu on Tuesday afternoon on the second-leg of his six-day tour of the state after the Supreme Court gave permission for the same on September 16.

Azad arrived at Srinagar on Friday on his maiden visit to J&K after the revocation of Article 370 that gave special status to the state on August 5 and 6.

“As of now, I do not have to say anything to the media. I spent four days in Kashmir and have arrived here for two days in Jammu. After the end of the six-day tour, I will say whatever I have to,” he told reporters. “The situation in Kashmir is very bad. Wherever I wanted to visit, I was not allowed by the state government. I could not go to the places, not even one tenth of what I had planned”.

To another query on alleged house arrest of politicians and curbs in the Valley, Azad said, “There is no freedom of speech in the state.”

He will meet some delegations during his two-day visit to Jammu.

In response to another question about submitting his report to the Supreme Court, Azad said that a decision will be taken after due deliberations on his return to Delhi.

On September 16, a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had allowed the Congress leader to visit four districts of Srinagar, Jammu, Baramulla, Anantnag to meet the people.

Prior to that, Azad had been thrice turned back from Srinagar and Jammu airports.

Party functionaries said that Azad would restrict his visit to Jammu district alone. He had been directed by the top court to not indulge in any political activity or rally during his visit to the state.

Source: Hindustan Times

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