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‘Every Citizen Must Have Access’: Sitaram Yechury, Jamia Student Allowed By SC to Visit Kashmir

The nod for Yechury’s visit was conditional on him not making it political and only going to the state to meet a party member.

News18.com

Updated:August 28, 2019, 12:12 PM IST
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‘Every Citizen Must Have Access’: Sitaram Yechury, Jamia Student Allowed By SC to Visit Kashmir
File photo of CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury.
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday told the government that every citizen should be allowed access to Jammu and Kashmir as it permitted a Jamia Millia Islamia Student and CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury to visit the state.

Hearing a bunch of petitions on the severe restrictions in Kashmir valley since the repeal of special status over three weeks ago, the CJI told the J&K administration: “If a citizen wants to go to a part of the country, he must get access.”

While the nod for the student, Mohd Aleem Syed, was to visit his home in Anantnag as he had not seen his parents since the clampdown, Yechury was allowed to go and meet a party colleague, Yousuf Tarigami, he had earlier tried to meet as well.

The court asked the student to report back after travelling to Anantnag and asked the government to provide him adequate police protection.

The nod for Yechury’s visit was conditional on him not making it political and only going to the state to meet Tarigami. Yechury has twice tried to visit Srinagar, but was turned back from the airport on both occasions.

“Just remember that you are going to meet a friend and will do nothing else,” the CJI told the Left leader and told him that if he does anything else, it will be construed as violation of the court order.

Yechury gave an undertaking that he is going to J&K only to meet his colleague and will do nothing else after the Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta, argued that the visit will be used for political purposes.

Jammu and Kashmir has been under strict restrictions since the government announced its decision on Article 370 on August 5. To avoid any backlash, phone and internet connectivity were snapped, more than close to a million troops stationed and prohibitory orders banning large gatherings were issued. Hundreds of political leaders have been arrested, including former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.

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