As the MPs from the European Union visited Jammu and Kashmir, the Left parties on Tuesday pounded the Narendra Modi government, questioning the claims of normalcy in the state. They also raised the issue of denial of permission to Indian leaders to go to the state, which has been under lockdown since the scrapping of its special status.
In a statement, the CPI(M) Polit Bureau "strongly" protested the Modi government-"orchestrated" visit of some MPs from the European Union countries "with right-wing credentials" to Kashmir, which, it said, was an "affront of the Indian Parliament and its sovereignty".
Separately, the CPI Parliamentary Group leader Binoy Viswam shot off a letter to the Prime Minister, asking Modi to help him visit Kashmir while saying that the situation there “still remains a mystery” to the people of India.
While Indian MPs and political leadership of national parties are denied the freedom to visit the valley, the CPI(M) said some "private visit" by foreign MPs is being allowed.
"Though it is claimed that this is a private visit, the Prime Minister has met them and they are also being briefed by the National Security Advisor," it said adding there can be "no special privilege" for a group of foreign parliamentarians while it is denied to others, including the country's own MPs and national political leadership with most of the known leaders of Kashmir continuing to remain in custody and detention.
"While the situation in Kashmir continues to largely remain in lockdown and the trading bodies have recently reported a Rs 10,000 crore hit on the economy during the last three months, denying visit by Indian political parties and MPs and allowing foreign MPs can never establish 'normalcy' that the government claims, but has no material basis," it said demanding that all restrictions be removed for travel and movement in Kashmir.
In his letter, Viswam said, “It is reliably learned that, the claims of the government and ground reality in Kashmir are poles apart. It is everybody’s question, why the government disallows any responsible Indian citizen, including MP, to enter the territory of Kashmir. Now, the government has spread red-carpet for the European Union MPs."
"In this background, I seek your permission to visit Kashmir and to meet with the ordinary people. As the leader of the CPI group in parliament and as Editor of the party organ New Age and above all as an Indian citizen, I believe that it is my right to visit my fellow citizens in Kashmir. I earnestly hope that, you will take necessary steps to realise my visit," he added.