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Rahul Gandhi, other Indian opposition leaders sent back from Srinagar airport

NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR (Web Desk): Congress’s Rahul Gandhi and other Indian opposition leaders were asked to return back from the Srinagar airport after they landed on Saturday to examine the ground situation following the Indian government’s move to revoke the special status of the valley.

According to reports in Indian media, a delegation of opposition leaders comprising Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, D Raja, Sharad Yadav, Manoj Jha, Majeed Memon and others that had reached Srinagar had been sent back.

The Indian opposition leaders were expected to visit some other parts of the valley, however, authorities in occupied Kashmir did not allow any Indian leader to enter the valley.

Speaking to the media before boarding the flight, the opposition leader had said they wanted to assess the situation in the valley which has been under lockdown for three weeks now.

This was the second attempt to visit the valley by opposition leaders and the first by Gandhi after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s abolished the special status of the valley.

At least 400 Kashmiri leaders have been under house arrest since August 5 with the lockdown entering its 20th day in the valley on Saturday. Those arrested include politicians Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Ghulam Ahmed Mir and Shah Faesal.

The jails and police stations have run out of space and many detainees have been lodged in makeshift detention centres.

No communication and strict curfew have also led to an acute shortage of baby food and vital medicines.

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