Supreme Court Allows Ghulam Nabi Azad to Visit Troubled Kashmir

Congress Says People of Kashmir Imprisoned by Modi Govt. Photo: Congress (file photo)
Congress Says People of Kashmir Imprisoned by Modi Govt. Photo: Congress (file photo)

The Supreme Court of India on Monday (September 16) allowed senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to visit Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), which has been experiencing an uneasy calm for the past more than one month.

Kashmir – which is a disputed territory between India and Pakistan – is facing extreme human rights violations being committed by the Indian security forces, as the Indian government headed by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi has abrogated Article 370 which gave special privileges to the people of J&K.

Expecting backlash from the Kashmiris, Modi government had imposed a curfew in Kashmir and millions of people have been locked in their homes since August 4, a day before revoking Article 370 for J&K.

[ Also Read: Michelle Bachelet Asks India to Restore Human Rights of Kashmiris ]

The Modi government is also not allowing the press to cover the burning situation in Kashmir and refused opposition leaders to visit the troubled valley.

Now a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the former J&K chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad can visit four districts — Srinagar, Jammu, Baramulla, Anantnag — to meet people, but he is not allowed to hold any political rally. It is not yet known when Azad will visit Kashmir.

He had petitioned to meet the people in Kashmir and inquire about their welfare. He has also sought a permission from the top court to visit his family members and relatives, and also to inquire about the social conditions in Kashmir after a clampdown was imposed by the authorities.

Last month, Supreme Court had allowed CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury to visit Kashmir to meet his colleague CPI(M) leader and four-time MLA Yusuf Tarigami.

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Rakesh Raman