“With the change in the status, the voices have also been suppressed and there is no place for freedom of speech, freedom of expression or freedom of agitation,” he said.
“Even if somebody is talking about normal protests over the demands for electricity and water, he is asked which jail he wants to go in India,” the Congress leader alleged.
Soon after his arrival here from Kashmir where he spent four days, Azad had said, “I have not even been allowed by the administration to visit 10 per cent of the places where I had planned to go in the valley during my stay there.”
Azad’s visit became possible after the Supreme Court on September 16 allowed him to tour the state.
A bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, had allowed the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha to visit four districts — Srinagar, Jammu, Baramulla, Anantnag — to meet people.
The bench had been told by Azad’s counsel and senior advocate A M Singhvi that the Congress leader wants to meet people and inquire about their welfare.
In his petition filed in his “personal capacity”, Azad had told the Supreme Court that he had tried to visit the state thrice, but was turned back from the airport.
A number of delegations representing various sections of the society including traders, transporters and border residents met Azad at his residence here.
Azad also visited traders of Raghunath Bazar, Purani Mandi, Residency Road and other areas of the city to know about their difficulties in the prevailing situation in the state, a congress spokesman said.