Hours after the Jammu and Kashmir government issued an advisory asking Amarnath pilgrims to return “as soon as possible”, Governor Satya Pal Malik on Friday told the state politicians “to maintain calm and not believe exaggerated rumours being circulated on the matter”.
A delegation of political leaders in a meeting with J-K Governor had expressed concerns about the “panic situation in the valley” created by a string of developments including the intelligence inputs on terror threats.
Governor Satya Pal Malik met a delegation of political leaders including Mehbooba Mufti, Shah Faesal, Sajjad Lone and Imran Ansari.
He informed the political leaders of credible inputs regarding terrorist attacks on the Amarnath pilgrims and assured them that the advisory was a precautionary measure as it is the responsibility of the state to provide security to all its citizens.
The Governor further said that a pure security measure is being mixed up with issues with which it has no connection and also requested the political leaders to ask their supporters not to mix up matters and to maintain calm and not believe exaggerated rumours being circulated in the Valley.
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 had recovered a Pakistan Army landmine and a sniper rifle as they busted a number of terror caches along the route of the pilgrimage.
The Army, however, assured the people of Kashmir that no one will be allowed to disrupt peace in the Valley.
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.
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.
The deployment of the troops and various orders gave rise to the speculations about some major decision in the offing regarding the repealing of Article 35A, which gives exclusive rights to the state’s residents in government jobs and land.
Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) directed all airlines to be ready for additional flights to and from Srinagar at short notice to fly out tourists and Amarnath yatris.
Air India has decided to give a full fee waiver on rescheduling/cancellation for all its flights to/from Srinagar till 15th August.
PDP leader and former Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti earlier on Friday said that advisory has created chaos and confusion among people.
“Due to recent developments here, there is an atmosphere of fear. I have never seen such panic. One one side, Governor Sahib says that the situation is normal. On the other side, deployment of additional forces is being done,” she said during a press briefing.
“The PM talks of winning the hearts of people of J-K. Then, why are such rumours doing the rounds. The Amarnath yatris and tourists are being sent back. But, you are not thinking where the Kashmiris, people of Jammu and Ladakh will go?” Mufti questioned.