Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad was stopped at the Jammu airport on Tuesday and sent back to Delhi, a party leader said, the second time in a month the former chief minister was not allowed to visit Jammu and Kashmir after its special status was withdrawn.
"Azad sahib had arrived from Delhi at around 2.45 pm and was not allowed to move out from the airport and forcibly sent back in a return flight to Delhi at 4.10 pm," state Congress chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma told PTI.
The leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha was not allowed to go home or attend the party meeting at the state Congress headquarters either, Mr Azad's close aides said.
The Congress leader returned back to Delhi in the evening through a GoAir flight and told reporters at the airport that this was "not right for democracy".
Mr Azad asked who would visit and meet the affected people if leaders of political parties would not. He also mentioned that top political leaders in Jammu and Kashmnir were under arrest and he, as a former chief minister, was not allowed to enter.
Earlier on August 8, he was briefly detained and sent back from the Srinagar airport after the administration imposed restrictions following the centre's move to scrap the state's special status and bifurcate it into Union territories.
"It is unfortunate that he (Mr Azad) is not allowed into his home state in the past two weeks," Mr Sharma said. "He is the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, member of Rajya Sabha from the state and leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha."
The Congress spokesperson said Mr Azad just wanted to come and meet some people to know about the prevailing situation.
"Denying him permission shows that how the mainstream national party is not being allowed to interact and discuss the current situation," he said, adding that the Congress and its leaders were not "trouble-makers" that the state was behaving like this.
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