Jammu, January 27
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today said that administration of Jammu and Kashmir failed to provide security to Bharat Jodo Yatra.
Addressing a press conference at Khanabal in Anantnag, Gandhi said, "I got a rousing reception soon after I entered Kashmir.
आज बड़ी संख्या में लोग यात्रा में आए थे।— Congress (@INCIndia) January 27, 2023
पर एकाएक पुलिस व्यवस्था पूरी तरह ठप्प हो गयी। मेरे सुरक्षाकर्मी मेरे आगे पैदल चलने के ख़िलाफ़ थे।
उनकी बात सुनकर मुझे अपनी यात्रा स्थगित करनी पड़ी। आशा करता हूं कि कल और परसों यात्रा के लिए उचित सुरक्षा व्यवस्था की जाएगी :@RahulGandhi जी pic.twitter.com/2B79dm9SFv
"However, police arrangement soon collapsed and cops, who were supposed to hold ropes around me were nowhere to be seen," Gandhi said.
He claimed that his security people became concerned and asked him to cancel his walk and the rest continued. "Its difficult for me to go against what my security people advise me," he said.
He said that it is the responsibility of the administration to guarantee the role of police.
Meanwhile, terming the incident a "big security lapse", his party colleague Jairam Ramesh said Gandhi's security team is holding discussions with the Jammu and Kashmir administration to ensure that everything goes off smoothly for the next few days.
राजनीति अपनी जगह है पर कश्मीर घाटी में @RahulGandhi की सुरक्षा से खिलवाड़ करके सरकार ने अपने निम्नतम से भी निम्नतम स्तर का प्रदर्शन किया है।— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) January 27, 2023
भारत पहले ही इन्दिरा गांधी जी और राजीव गांधी जी को खो चुका है, किसी भी सरकार या प्रशासन को ऐसे मामलों पर राजनीति करने से बाज आना चाहिए।
"Politics has its place but by playing with Rahul Gandhi's security in Jammu and Kashmir, the government has stooped to its lowest level," the Congress general secretary added in a tweet in Hindi.
India, he said, has already lost Indira Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and any government or administration should desist from playing politics on such issues.
Several party leaders echoed his concern, accusing the government of withdrawing security personnel around Gandhi and demanding action against those responsible for the alleged breach.
"Who ordered this?" asked AICC general secretary K C Venugopal.
The sudden withdrawal of security personnel from the D-area has caused a serious security breach at the #BharatJodoYatra at Banihal, Kashmir.— K C Venugopal (@kcvenugopalmp) January 27, 2023
Who ordered this?
The authorities responsible must answer for this lapse & take appropriate steps to prevent such incidents in future.
"The authorities responsible must answer for this lapse and take appropriate steps to prevent such incidents in future," he said on Twitter Jammu and Kashmir's AICC in-charge Rajni Patil said "the security lapses indicate unfair and unprepared attitude of the UT administration".
"Due to security reasons, we had to stop the yatra temporarily as there was crowd mismanagement along the yatra route approved by the security apparatus," a senior Congress leader said.
Gandhi's security insisted that he stop the walk immediately and he drove instead to the guesthouse in Khanabal.
The morning started early with National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah joining Gandhi for the walk. Both leaders were dressed in similar white T-shirts in the 7 degrees Celsius chill.
Gandhi's white T-shirt look, even in north India's severe winter days, has been the subject of much debate and discussion.
They had walked for about three kilometres in the morning and drove through the 2.85 km Jawahar tunnel. After crossing the tunnel, party leaders accompanying Gandhi found there were no policeman to provide security at the scheduled halt. Gandhi's security team did not allow him to step out of the car.
Meanwhile, the Kashmir police in its official statement stated that only authorised persons as identified by organisers and frisked crowd was allowed towards the route of Yatra. “Organisers and managers of BJY did not intimate about large gathering from Banihal joining the Yatra, which thronged near the starting point. Full security arrangements were in place including 15 companies of CAPFs and 10 companies of JKP, comprising Road Opening Parties (ROP) and Quick Response Teams (QRTs), route domination, lateral deployment and security forces for high-ridge and other deployments,” it stated.
The Congress leader will resume his journey on Saturday from Awantipora, 33 km from Srinagar. (With Agency Inputs)
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