Yechury reaches Kashmir, whisked away amid tight security

Srinagar, Aug 29 (IANS) In the first visit by any opposition leader to Kashmir after the revocation of Article 370, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury on Thursday reached the valley to meet ailing party MLA Yousuf Tarigami.

Armed with the Supreme Court's permission, the CPM General Secretary reached Srinagar this morning to inquire about the health of his party colleague Tarigami. Tarigami is the lone Communist MLA in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly.

Soon after landing, he was whisked away in a VIP entourage of more than seven cars to take him to Tarigami's residence. Security agencies are unlikely to allow Yechury any political meeting or media interactions apart from meeting his party colleague as per the apex court's order.

Yechury had complained to the court he was not allowed to enter the valley by authorities and could not meet Tarigami. He had told the court that he was apprehensive about the well being of his colleague.

Yechury had also told the court that Tarigami is not in good health and may need to be shifted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi. Following which the SC had asked the senior superintendent of police in Srinagar to allow Yechury to visit Kashmir.

Earlier too, Yechury and other opposition leaders had attempted to enter Srinagar when he was stopped and sent back from Srinagar airport itself.

On Wednesday soon after the order, Yechury tweeted: "I will be travelling to Srinagar to meet our Comrade. Other things, on my return."

Ever since the abrogation of Article 370 that gave special powers to Kashmir on August 5, no BJP leader has visited the newly-formed union territory. An opposition delegation led by former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi attempted to enter the valley but was stopped.

--IANS

abn/kr

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