Congress' Ghulam Nabi Azad meets people in Anantnag
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is on a three-day visit to Kashmir following Supreme Court orders, visited Anantnag district on Sunday in south Kashmir where he met people in a government housing colony.
Azad, who was scheduled to meet people at Dak Bungalow, had to change the venue after authorities refused him permission, a local Congress leader said. Dak Bungalow has been declared a jail.
'Azad was at the housing colony from 11.00 am to 3.00 pm. Many people came to meet him,' the local Congress leader, who wished not to be named, said.
He said while the leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha was strictly following the Supreme Court order with respect to his visit to the Valley, authorities were creating hurdles.
He alleged that during his stay in Srinagar on Friday, the security personnel did not allow people to meet Azad.
Azad arrived in Srinagar on Friday on his maiden visit following the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status after three failed attempts.
On Saturday, Azad visited Lalla Ded maternity hospital and inquired about the welfare of patients. He also visited the tourist reception centre in the city and interacted with the members of Kashmir Houseboat Owners Association.
He is scheduled to visit Baramulla in north Kashmir on Monday.
Azad's visit became possible after a nod from the Supreme Court, which allowed the Congress general secretary to visit the state. A bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, had on Monday allowed the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister to visit four districts – Srinagar, Jammu, Baramulla, Anantnag – to meet people.
The bench was informed by senior advocate A. M. Singhvi, who was appearing for Azad, that the Congress leader wants to meet the people and inquire about their welfare.
In his petition filed in 'personal capacity', Azad had told the Supreme Court that he had tried to visit the state thrice, but was turned back from the airport.