SRINAGAR, JAN 27 – Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said he had to cancel his “Bharat Jodo Yatra” on Friday because the police arrangements “completely collapsed”.
Rahul Gandhi was to walk 16 km in the Kashmir Valley on Friday.
Rahul said he did not know the reasons behind this “collapse” but hoped that on Saturday and day after this would not happen.
“When we crossed the tunnel, there was a huge crowd for my reception. After the tunnel, the police arrangements collapsed. The policemen who manage the crowd and are supposed to hold the rope were nowhere. I had to cancel my plan after my security detail advised that we should not move ahead,” Rahul told reporters in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
He said it was administration’s responsibility to control the crowd.
“I don’t know why this (breach) happened. I hope that tomorrow and day after this would not happen,” he said, adding the Yatra will continue from Saturday.
Jammu and Kashmir Police said there was no security lapse during the Yatra and they will provide foolproof security to the event.
The police said only authorised persons as identified by the organisers and frisked crowd was allowed inside towards the route of Yatra.
“…Organisers & managers of BJY did not intimate about large gathering from Banihal joining the Yatra, which thronged near the starting point,” police said in a series of tweets.
It added that full security arrangements were in place including 15 companies of Central Armed Police Forces and 10 companies of JK Police, comprising ROPs (road opening parties) and QRTs (quick reaction teams), route domination, lateral deployment and security forces were deployed for high-ridge and other deployments.
“JKP was not consulted before taking any decision on discontinuation of the Yatra after conducting 1 km yatra by organisers. Rest of yatra continued peacefully. There was no security lapse at all. We will provide foolproof security,” the police tweet added.
Earlier, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said they were holding discussions with the Jammu and Kashmir administration to ensure everything goes off smoothly for the next few days.
Earlier, National Conference Vice president Omar Abdullah on Friday joined the Gandhi-led Yatra from Banihal.
Omar said they joined the Yatra as it is aimed at changing India’s situation and not to improve Rahul Gandhi’s image.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti and Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi are likely to join the yatra on Saturday from Awantipora in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir.