Shri Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary of Communist Party of India (Marxist), written the following letter to the President of India after he was denied entry in Srinagar to meet CPI(M) Central Committee member, Mohd. Yusuf Tarigami, and detained by the police and judicial authorities for over four hours.
We are herewith releasing the text of the letter for publication.
Dear Respected Rashtrapati ji,
I am writing to you to relate my experience when I landed at the Srinagar Airport on 9th August morning. I am writing to you because Jammu & Kashmir is under central rule under the authority of your office, The President of India.
As soon as I disembarked from the aircraft, I was surrounded by police and escorted to a room where a senior police officer informed me that his orders are not to allow me to exit from the airport and I should return to Delhi by the earliest flight for which they said they would make the arrangement. I had a return ticket for the same day evening flight to Delhi. Since I had my return ticket booked, I said that I would travel only by the flight for which I had booked.
For over four hours, I was kept under police custody. Comrade D Raja, General Secretary of the Communist Party of India, was also accompanying me.
When I demanded to see the orders, a district magistrate was produced who had the orders to the effect that our visiting Srinagar could cause law and order problems and hence we are being prohibited to leave the airport.
This is strange. I had intimated the Honourable Governor of Jammu & Kashmir on the 8th that I would be visiting Srinagar on the 9th to meet Mohd. Yusuf Tarigami, CPI(M) Central Committee member and four time elected MLA of J&K assembly. He was not keeping well and I was carrying some medicines for him.
Despite the knowledge that as the General Secretary of the CPI(M), a national political party, I had the right to visit my Party members and my Party leaders, particularly when they have health problems, I was denied my basic elementary democratic right.
During our protest for over four hours against being denied permission to visit our Party members, I learnt that there is widespread discontent amongst the people and there are a large number of complaints regarding the denial of basic human rights. Some news agencies, both foreign and domestic, are reporting about people’s protests and police violence against them. This is a serious matter which needs your consideration and intervention.
As the custodian of the Indian Constitution, I urge you to ensure that all Indian citizens are permitted to exercise their fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India.
I have been denied my elementary democratic right when the current central rule functions under your authority. I am writing to you to register my strong protest against this denial of my democratic right.
Enclosed is the copy of the letter I had addressed to the Honourable Governor of Jammu & Kashmir on the 8th.