Social activists planned to interact with local Kashmiris; Sent back from Srinagar airport

Hyderabad: Five eminent social activists were detained at Srinagar airport and sent back. The team of five members wanted to interact with the local people in Kashmir. However, officials at the airport sent them back immediately on the next flight to New Delhi.

The incident took place on October 4 (Friday morning). Prof. Sandeep Pandey, Magsaysay awardee and Vice-President of the Socialist Party (India), Mr Praful Samantra (Lok Shakti Abhiyan, National Alliance of People’s Movement- NAPM), Mr Faisal Khan of Social Party (India) and National Convenor of Khudai Khitmatgar, Mr Mustafa Muhammad of Khudai Khitmatgar from Kerala, and Mr Javed Mallik of Khudai Khitmatgar from New Delhi, were detained at the airport. They wanted to tour Kashmir valley to ascertain the ground realities after the abrogation of Article 370.

The Budgam District Magistrate in the order dated October 4, 2019, said: “Credible inputs from various agencies have claimed that Mr Sandeep Pandey, social activist, intends to organise protests against recent Parliamentary proceedings vis-a-vis changes made in the legislation/legal framework with regards to Jammu & Kashmir whereas such may affect the law and order situation, which so far remained, by and large, peaceful in district. Under Section 144 CrPC, imposed restrictions on the movement of Mr Sandeep Pandey were made beyond the arrival lounge of Srinagar International airport until further orders, so as to maintain peace and tranquillity in the district.”

Mr Pandey on October 2, 2019, took part in a round-table discussion in Hyderabad. The debate was on Kashmir communications and the killing of two Valmiki Dalit children in Madhya Pradesh. The Hyderabad meeting passed a resolution enabling Kashmiris to speak to all.
“We reiterate our resolutions that the isolation of Jammu & Kashmir must be stopped and their voice be heard across India. We urge the Supreme Court to conduct urgent hearings of all pending cases pertaining to Jammu & Kashmir post-August 5, 2019,” said Mr Pandey.

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