A day after canceling his foot march due to an alleged security lapse, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi resumed his Bharat Jodo Yatra from the Awanipora area of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday.
Amid unprecedented security, Rahul Gandhi along with other Yatries resumed the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
"We are giving three-tier protection, all security arrangements have been done. Bharat Jodo yatra is going on smoothly. Traffic has also been diverted, there won't be any problem. No security lapses happened yesterday, so many people did the foot march", Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Kashmir zone Vijay Kumar said.
The Congress on Friday alleged that police arrangements by the Union Territory's administration were "completely collapsed" when Yatra entered Kashmir Valley after crossing the tunnel from the Banihal area of Jammu province.
On the allegation, the Jammu and Kashmir administration had said pressure on security resources due to the size of the crowd, larger than planned, may have created an impression of a lack of security arrangements during the Rahul Gandhi-led march.
After Friday's controversy over the security lapse, adequate security arrangements were put in place for the Yatra this morning. Security forces sealed off all roads leading to its starting point. Only authorized vehicles and reporters were allowed to reach the venue.
There was also a three-layered security ring around Gandhi as part of the heightened security measures. Congress workers and supporters carrying the tricolour and the party's flags turned up in large numbers to receive Rahul Gandhi.
Mehbooba along with her daughter joins Yatra
Former Chief Minister and president of Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti along with her daughter Iltija Mufti and a large number of workers from her party as the march at Awantipora on Saturday. Mehbooba marched with Rahul Gandhi along with her daughter amid shouting of slogans.
Rahul Gandhi’s yatra comes like a breath of fresh air in Kashmir. It is the first time since 2019 that Kashmiris have come out of their homes in such massive numbers it. Was a great experience to walk with him. pic.twitter.com/WigfdOBoPS— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) January 28, 2023
"Rahul Gandhi's Yatra comes like a breath of fresh air in Kashmir. It is the first time since 2019 that Kashmiris have come out of their homes in such massive numbers it. Was a great experience to walk with him," Mehbooba tweeted and shared a picture of the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
Rahul pays tributes to Pulwama martyrs
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday paid floral tributes to the 40 CRPF personnel martyred in a car bomb blast in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district in 2019.
Gandhi, who is in the last leg of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, laid a flower bouquet at the spot where the CRPF bus was blown up by a Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway four years ago.
उस मिट्टी को नमन, जहां पुलवामा हमले के वीर शहीदों का खून शामिल है।— J&K Congress (@INCJammuKashmir) January 28, 2023
आज #BharatJodoYatra के दौरान @RahulGandhi जी ने पुलवामा हमले में शहीद हुए वीर जवानों को श्रद्धांजलि अर्पित की। #BharatJodoYatraInJK pic.twitter.com/VMMCX3tN30
The Yatra, which is heading towards Srinagar, stopped briefly to pay homage to the slain CRPF personnel.
The Gandhi-led foot march started from Kanyakumari on September 7 and it will conclude in Srinagar on January 30.
Important to mention here that on January 23, Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh had targeted the BJP government for the killing of over 40 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in the February 2019 attack.
He said that the 2019 terror attack could have been averted had the vehicle, which launched the attack on the CRPF been checked properly.
Quoting the then Director General of CRPF, Digvijay Singh alleged that the BJP government had rejected the demand of the higher-ups of the CRPF to airlift jawans from Srinagar to Delhi as the area was sensitive. "Why this demand was rejected?" he questioned.
Alleging that Pulwama has become the centre of terrorism, he said, "Every car is checked in the area. Why on that particular day was the Scorpio car not checked? A vehicle comes from the wrong direction. Why it was not checked? The vehicle was checked and soon it collided with the CRPF van and 40 of our CRPF were killed.
"Until now, the information related to the incident had not been given in the Parliament, nor are the people aware of it," Singh said.