September 15, 2019

SRINAGAR: CPI(M) General Secretary Meets Tarigami

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury was the first politician outside the Valley to visit Kashmir after abrogation of Article 370. He too had to go through the treatment that opposition leaders under detention are getting in Kashmir.

Yechury visited the state after the Supreme Court gave a favourable order in a habeas corpus petition seeking the whereabouts of CPI(M) Central Committee member and four-time MLA Mohd Yousuf Tarigami.

Yechury reached Srinagar airport at around 12 pm on August 30. As directed by the apex court, senior superintendent of police Imtiyaz Hussain, received Yechury and  whisked him away to a room as soon as he came out of the aircraft.

Police sources told reporters that senior officials told Yechury that he will be taken to Tarigami’s residence. But they insisted that he must return by the evening flight on the same day. Yechury, as reported by media, refused to accept this suggestion. He told the officials that his return would be finalised only after the meeting with Tarigami.

The cops, however, argued that there is enough time with Yechury and Tarigami to finish the meeting before evening. But Yechury maintained that his return could be decided only after the meeting.

Later, Imtiyaz Hussain escorted Yechury to Tarigami’s house from the airport. He was taken in a convoy of about half a dozen vehicles of security agencies. The police official wanted to be present himself during the meeting with Yechury and Tarigami. However, both the leaders objected and demanded a one-to-one meeting without the presence of cops.

Police officers told media that they informed Yechury that Tarigami is not under arrest officially, but he or his family members, including his grandchildren, are not allowed to go out of the house on Gupkar Road and entry to his house is also restricted.

Police sources added that Yechury and Tarigami met for about four hours. After the meeting, Yechury told them that since the apex court has asked him to file a report on the medical condition of Tarigami, the police should allow Tarigami’s physician to visit his house and prepare a report on his health condition. Yechury reportedly told the officers that he will not leave Srinagar until the report was prepared.

The police had to agree and took him to East Guest House in Jhelum. There, the police put a condition that Yechury should not leave the guest house and no one will be allowed to meet them.

On August 30, Yechury was brought again to Tarigami’s house by the Police. Tarigami's doctor briefed him about the present health condition and prepared a report about the treatment.

In Delhi, Yechury told reporters at the airport that he was not allowed to meet anybody else. “So we can say nothing about the situation there. But what we saw on the street through the car window and what the government claims are contradictory,” he said.

On the court's order, Tarigami was later shifted to AIIMS, Delhi.