CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury reached Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday to meet ailing party MLA Yousuf Tarigami, in a first visit by any Opposition leader to the state after the abrogation of Article 370.
With the Supreme Court’s permission, the CPM General Secretary reached Srinagar this morning to inquire about the health of his party colleague Tarigami. Tarigami is the lone Communist MLA in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly. Soon after landing, he was whisked away in a VIP entourage of more than seven cars to take him to Tarigami’s residence. Security agencies are unlikely to allow Yechury to hold any political meeting or media interactions apart from meeting his party colleague as per the apex court’s order.
Hearing around 10 petitions with most of them challenging the Centre’s decision revoking Article 370 while others connected with the imposition of curfew and its consequences in the region, the Supreme Court in its hearing on Wednesday, allowed CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury to meet his party member in Jammu and Kashmir
The Centre’s representative had earlier argued that the situation is normal in and Yechury’s visit would endanger the situation in the Valley. The Supreme Court said that the visit of Sitaram Yechury should only be to meet party leader Yousuf Tarigami as a friend, and not for any political purpose.
“We will permit you to go, you are the general secretary of a party. Don’t go for anything else,” CJI Ranjan Gogoi said.
The bench was hearing Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury’s habeas corpus petition, in which, he had challenged the detention of Kashmir politician and party general secretary Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami.
Yechury had complained to the court he was not allowed to enter the valley by authorities and could not meet Tarigami. He had told the court that he was apprehensive about the well being of his colleague.
Yechury had also told the court that Tarigami is not in good health and may need to be shifted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi. Following which the SC had asked the senior superintendent of police in Srinagar to allow Yechury to visit Kashmir. Earlier too, Yechury and other Opposition leaders had attempted to enter Srinagar when he was stopped and sent back from Srinagar airport itself.
On Wednesday soon after the order, Yechury tweeted: “I will be travelling to Srinagar to meet our Comrade. Other things, on my return.”
I will be travelling to Srinagar to meet our Comrade. Other things, on my return. pic.twitter.com/ciKbQRly0n
— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) August 28, 2019
Since the abrogation of Article 370 that gave special powers to Kashmir on August 5, no political leader has visited the newly-formed union territory. An Opposition delegation led by former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi attempted to enter the valley but was asked to returned. With intense lock down and curfews in place, little information from the locals of the state can be accessed.