NEW DELHI, Mar 3: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has said he was told by security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir that he would have hand-grenades thrown at him, adding that a person walking next to him pointed to him that terrorists were present in the crowd staring at him when his Bharat Jodo Yatra passed through Kashmir.
Speaking at Cambridge University, Gandhi said his Bharat Jodo Yatra in Kashmir was a “new narrative” and shared how he realized the power of non-violence and listening.
“We were told that we are going to be killed. During the yatra, a person asked to be called to walk next to me. He told me ‘look at those boys (in the crowd) over there’. He said ‘they are terrorists and they are looking at you’. They gave me this look; I thought now I am in trouble,” Gandhi recounted.
“They (the terrorists) actually couldn’t do anything, even if they wanted to, they did not have the power. Because I had come in that environment with no violence at all. That was an indicator to me of the power of non-violence and listening,” Gandhi added.
He said that when he was entering Kashmir, security personnel told him that he cannot walk in Kashmir. “I was walking three days in the roughest districts of Kashmir. The security men told me that you will have hand-grenades thrown at you. But I wanted to walk, so I said if it be hand grenades, let it be hand grenades. We saw Indian flags coming up everywhere during the yatra. Around 40,000 people showed up against 2,000 people who were expected,” Gandhi said.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra had ended on January 30 in an opposition show of strength with leaders of several parties joining Rahul Gandhi as he capped his ambitious 145-day journey that covered some 4,000 km from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.
The former Congress president had unfurled the Tricolour at the yatra campsite and then went to the Pradesh Congress Committee office where party chief Mallikarjun Kharge hoisted the national flag. From there they went to the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium at the foothills of the Shankaracharya Hills for a rally marking the grand finale of the cross-country yatra.
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