Centre's nod creates row : Action needed against those who sponsor terror: Modi to EU MPs
Oppn questions why their leaders prevented from entering J&K
New Delhi: The government's decision to allow members of the European Parliament to visit Jammu and Kashmir to assess the ground situation in the State after the scrapping of special status has kicked up a controversy with Opposition parties questioning why their leaders have been prevented from entering the state.
Claiming that it was an insult to India's parliament and democracy, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh asked as to why the "chest-beating champion of nationalism", in an apparent swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has allowed European leaders to visit Jammu and Kashmir when it was an internal matter of India.
A delegation of 25 Parliamentarians of the European Union will visit J&K on Tuesday to see the ground reality there after abrogation of Article 370 on August 5.
PM Narendra Modi told a delegation of European Union MPs that urgent action was needed against those supporting and sponsoring terrorism.
The visit has been described as an "unofficial one", but it signals a shift in the government stand as it had previously not allowed US lawmakers to visit the state.
The EU panel will seek to talk to locals in Jammu and Kashmir and ask them about their experience. On Monday, the delegation met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NSA Ajit Doval and were briefed about the situation.
Apart from the Congress, the Left parties also questioned the move.
CPI(M) general secretary asked why Indian political party leaders and MPs have been repeatedly prevented from exiting Srinagar airport.
"I was allowed to enter Srinagar only when the Supreme Court permitted over my habeas corpus petition. Even today Indian MPs are not allowed while Modi welcomes MEPs!" Yechury tweeted.
Yechury and CPI general secretary D Raja were not allowed to visit the state after the abrogation of Article 370 despite repeated attempts.
Yechury was allowed to visit his ailing party colleague Yusuf Tarigami after the SC gave its go ahead on the condition that he would not be part of any political activity there.
"The fact that the Indian government is facilitating the visit of the EU delegation shows that this government is desperate and is under pressure to please the international community which has raised several questions on human rights violations in JK.
The government is desperate to convince the global community. While it says everything is normal in the region, the ground reality is different," said Raja.
Terming the situation as 'lose-lose', Mehbooba Mufti's daughter said that if the European Union delegation terms the Kashmir situation as normal, the Centre will have to release those detained after August 5 and restore the internet connections.
"Why can't they meet all 3 former CMs? Either ways there are 2 scenarios.The delegation will state situation is normal. In that case next logical step is to release detainees & restore internet.
If they say Kashmir is in limbo, its a major embarrassment for GOI. Lose lose situation, (sic)" Iltija said in a tweet.
She also questioned as to why the EU delegation was allowed, while no US senator has been asked to visit the Valley where normal life remains crippled for over 80 days now.