New Delhi: CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and CPI chief D Raja were not allowed to enter Jammu and Kashmir on Friday and were sent back from Srinagar airport after a brief detention, party sources said.
The Left leaders had gone to Srinagar to meet CPI(M) leader Yousuf Tarigami and other party colleagues.
"They showed us a legal order which did not allow any entry into Srinagar. It stated that even escorted movement int the city was not permitted due to security reasons. We are still trying to negotiate with them," Yechury told PTI over phone.
Later, party sources said they have been sent back to Delhi.
The restrictions on Opposition party leaders comes a day after Congress leader and former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad was detained and sent back to Delhi from the Srinagar airport
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Yechury and Communist Party of India general secretary Raja had written to Governor Satya Pal Malik on Thursday informing him of their visit and requesting him to facilitate their entry.
"Both of us had written to the J&K governor requesting him that there should be no hurdles for our visit... despite that we have been detained. I wanted to meet my ailing colleague and our comrades who are here," Yechury said.
In a statement issued by the CPI(M) politburo, the party hit out at the government over the detention, saying it was an "anti-democratic" act, which showed the ruling BJP's "authoritarian face", and called upon the people to protest this “anti-democratic act of the BJP government.”
On Thursday, Yechury had written to Malik, saying that the CPI(M) “has an active unit in the state of Jammu & Kashmir and it had a MLA, Mohd. Yusuf Tarigami in the dissolved J&K assembly. As the General Secretary of a national party, I wish to visit Mohd. Yusuf Tarigami (who I was informed, is not keeping good health) and other members of my Party. I propose to reach Srinagar on the 9th morning to meet them”.
“I hope the administration will not create any hurdles in discharging my responsibilities as a leader of my party,” the letter had said.