Former Union minister YashwantSinha (Extreme Rght) with journalist Bharat Bhushan (left) and civil society activist Kapil Kak in Srinagar, November 24, 2019

The 5-member delegation had been denied permission to move out of Srinagar by authorities citing a terrorist threat

For the second consecutive day, a five-member civil society delegation, led by former Union minister Yashwant Sinha, was not allowed to move outside Srinagar by the police on Sunday.

“We are not allowed to go out of Srinagar district. We wanted to go to Shopian on Sunday but were not allowed. So, the people, (from) where we were to go, are coming here to meet us,” said Sinha.

“Continuously, people are coming to meet us at the hotel we are staying. As there is an atmosphere of fear, we want to protect their identity. We are getting a pretty good idea of the situation on ground,” the former BJP leader said.

On Saturday, the delegation, including former bureaucrat Wajahat Habibullah, civil society activist Kapil Kak, journalist Bharat Bhushan and social activist Sushoba Bharve, led by Sinha said they were not allowed to travel to south (Pulwama and Shopian) and central Kashmir’s (Budgam) districts and were asked to confine themselves to the capital Srinagar by the authorities, who cited security reasons. They said they were “advised by the SSP (security) that the situation there was not conducive and there was a terror threat”.

Sinha said the group had sent a written communication to deputy commissioner asking for permission to visit Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and Yousuf Tarigam.

“We were verbally denied the permission,” he said.

Allowed To Meet Friend After ‘Much Argument’: SINHA

The former minister said they were allowed to meet a friend in the city on Saturday evening after “much argument” with the authorities. He did not want to identify the person.

“We spent most the time in the hotel on Sunday. Bharve and Habibullah were with their friends. We could not go too far,” Sinha said late afternoon.

On their arrival on Friday, Sinha had credited the maturity of the people of Kashmir for the “absence of casualties” after Parliament scrapped Article 370 and carved two union territories out of the state.

He had also contested the government’s assertions that the situation in the state was normal.

“I can only say that the situation is far from normal. All the shops are closed. How can you say this is normalcy,” the former BJP leader had said.

The delegation will be in the Valley till November 25.