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"Police arrangement completely collapsed..." Rahul Gandhi on cancelling Bharat Jodo Yatra in J-K
Anantnag: Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, who is on Bharat Jodo Yatra in Kashmir, had to "cancel" his yatra on Friday due to an alleged security lapse at Quazigund.
"This morning during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, unfortunately, the police arrangement completely collapsed and the police who were supposed to manage the crowd was nowhere to be seen. My security people were very uncomfortable with me walking further on the yatra so I had to cancel my walk. Other yatris did the walk," Rahul Gandhi said addressing a press conference in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag. Further speaking on security issues, Gandhi said, "I think it is important the police manages the crowd so that we can do the yatra. It's very difficult for me to go against what my security people are recommending."
"I don't know why it happened but it should not happen tomorrow and the day after tomorrow," he added.
When asked if Rahul Gandhi would continue his padayatra in wake of security lapses by the J-K administration as alleged by his party, the Wayanad MP said, "Yes, we will. It will continue."
Meanwhile, the party's national spokesperson Jairam Ramesh tweeted, "Politics has its place but by playing with the security of Rahul Gandhi in the Kashmir valley, the government has stooped to its lowest level. India has already lost Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, any government or administration should desist from doing politics on such matters."
Congress in-charge of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, Rajani Patil, had earlier reported security lapses in Congress leader Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra and accused the administration of the Union Territory of failing to manage the crowd.
"J&K UT Administration failed to provide security to #BharatJodoYatra led by Shri @RahulGandhi. Security lapses indicate unfair & unprepared attitude of UT administration. @OfficeOfLGJandK," Rajani Patil said in a tweet along with a picture from the spot.
All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary KC Venugopal also said that there was no security personnel with the Bharat Jodo Yatra for 15 minutes, and termed it a 'serious lapse'.
"The security has been mishandled by concerned agencies here. For 15 mins, there have been no security officers with the Bharat Jodo Yatra here. This is a serious lapse. Rahul Gandhi and other yatris can not walk without security," Venugopal said speaking to media persons.
"The sudden withdrawal of security personnel from the D-area has caused a serious security breach at the Bharat Jodo Yatra at Banihal, Kashmir. Who ordered this? The authorities responsible must answer for this lapse and take appropriate steps to prevent such incidents in future," Venugopal tweeted.
Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra, which is in its final leg in Jammu and Kashmir, resumed on Friday morning from the National Highway-44, Banihal Railway station, in the UT's Ramban district.
Security was tightened in the area in the wake of the recent twin blasts on the outskirts of Jammu city on January 22 which rocked a busy locality in Narwal leaving at least nine people injured.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra, which started in Kanyakumari on September 7, will conclude on January 30 in Srinagar after covering 3,970 km, 12 states and two Union territories. (ANI)