Heavy security in Jammu and Kashmir after Amarnath Yatra called off due to terror threat
Government advisory ordering pilgrims to leave Kashmir immediately was issued after a large cache of ammunition was recovered from the route of the yatra, increasing the chances of a terror attack.
The Kashmir valley has been on the edge after the Amarnath Yatra was reportedly cancelled. A government advisory ended the pilgrimage almost a fortnight ahead of its schedule was issued after a huge cache of ammunition was recovered on the route of the yatra, heightening the possibility of a terror attack in the state. Apart from the cache of ammunitions containing a Pakistan-made anti-personnel mine, an IED and a US-made sniper rifle, intelligence reports also sparked the chances of a suicide attack in Kashmir, reports said.
The cancellation of the pilgrimage has sparked an atmosphere of panic and uncertainty among the yatris with many of them frantically searching for air tickets. The aviation regulator DGCA has directed airlines to schedule additional flights from Srinagar, "if the need arises", sources told PTI.
In the last few days, more than 30,000 additional troops have been deployed in the valley by the Centre, reportedly adding to the panic and sparking speculations of repealing Article 35 (A), that grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, media reports say.
Former Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti reacted to the situation, saying that the advisory has created confusion and chaos among people. "Due to recent development here, there is an atmosphere of fear. I have never seen such panic. On one side, Governor Sahib (Satya Pal Malik) says the situation is normal. On the other side, deployment of additional forces is being done," Mufti said in an ANI report.
Meanwhile, the Raj Bhavan in its statement to the media called the panic "unnecessary." A pure security measure is being mixed up with issues with which it has no connection. That is the cause of the panic," he said and requested the leaders to ask their supporters "not to mix up matters, to maintain calm and not believe exaggerated rumours being circulated all around"," the statement reads.
On the other hand, the Congress party's Jammu & Kashmir policy planning group has expressed their concerns over the issue and has asked the Centre to not take any decision that would precipitate a deep crisis in the state, an ANI report mentioned. "There was a deep concern expressed at the continuous reports emanating from both the Home Ministry and state government of Jammu and Kashmir which were creating an atmosphere of panic and apprehension about the intentions of the government of India,” senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to the press after meeting the group.
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