The Indian Army on Friday said that it has received confirmed intelligence inputs on terrorists backed by Pakistan army trying to disrupt Amarnath Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir.
In view of the latest intelligence inputs on terror threats, the Jammu and Kashmir government has issued a security advisory in the interest of the Amarnath Yatra pilgrims and tourists asking them to curtail their stay in the Valley and return as soon as possible.
The security forces have recovered a Pakistan Army landmine and a sniper rifle along the route of the pilgrimage.
“In the last three-four days, there were confirmed intelligence reports that terrorists backed by Pakistan and its army is trying to disrupt Amarnath Yatra and based on that a thorough search was conducted. We had major successes in these searches,” said Chinar Corps Commander Lt General KJS Dhillon.
The officer said that there was a “massive threat of IEDs or crude bombs” and bombs had been found in searches along the Amarnath Yatra route.
“Type of IEDs we are examining and the IED expert terrorists we are capturing and eliminating point to the fact that Pakistan is trying to disrupt peace in Kashmir,” Dhillon said.
The security forces have busted a number of terror caches along the pilgrimage route and recovered a Pakistan Ordnance factory anti-personnel mine and an M-24 American sniper rifle with a telescope from one of them.
“A Pakistan Army landmine has also been recovered from one of the caches of terrorists. This clearly indicates that Pakistan Army is involved in terrorism in Kashmir, this will not be tolerated,” Lt General KJS Dhillon said.
The yatra route was being “sanitised for three days”, he disclosed.
The Army further assured the people of Kashmir that no one will be allowed to disrupt peace in the Valley.
Additional Director General of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Zulfiqar Hasan said that the Amarnath Yatra has seen an unprecedented turnout in spite of several threats.
The ADG further said that there have been serious attempts to disrupt the pilgrimage but remained unsuccessful due to the hard work of the security personnel, use of technology and the cooperation of people.
IGP Kashmir, SP Pani said that over 10 serious terror attack attempts were made at different places in the valley this year.
Several terrorists like Munna Lahori, Kamran and Usman were arrested during operations by the armed forces, he added.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh said that the overall number of active militants in the Valley and in the Jammu region had come down.
Chinar Corps Commander Lt General KJS Dhillon also said that the forces have found that 83 per cent of locals who pick up weapons had a record of stone-pelting.
He further requested the mothers in the valley to keep their children away from indulging in anti-government activities with a warning that “if today your child throws stones at security forces for Rs 500 then he will become a terrorist tomorrow.
The joint press conference by the police and the Army comes in the backdrop of Centre deploying additional troops of paramilitary forces in Jammu and Kashmir.
Earlier, there were reports of over 28,000 additional troops of paramilitary forces being deployed in the Kashmir valley.
According to a report in PTI, officials aware of the development had on Thursday said that over 280 companies of security forces are in the process of being deployed in the Kashmir.
Last week, the Centre had issued an order for the deployment of additional 10,000 troops of the paramilitary forces comprising the CRPF, BSF, SSB and ITBP in Jammu and Kashmir in order to strengthen the counter-insurgency grid and for maintaining law and order situation in the state.
Recently, the Centre had deployed about 40,000 central paramilitary and state police personnel to secure the 46-day Amarnath Yatra in the state which began on July 1 and will conclude on August 15.
After the Lok Sabha elections, nearly 300 companies of central forces were asked to stay put in the Kashmir valley.