New Delhi: The Jammu and Kashmir state Home Department issued an order on Friday asking Amarnath yatris and tourists to leave the Valley immediately and return home, citing confirmed reports of a probable terror attack planned by militants.
In a parallel move, major security heads in the Valley held a press conference directly accusing the Pakistan Army of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. On the other hand, the LoC witnessed heavy shelling just days ago after a long period of lull. The firing was so intense that Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad was summoned multiple times by the Pakistan Foreign Ministry.
All this clubbed with the recent push of another set of 28,000 paramilitary troops into Kashmir caused immense panic to the residents and the visitors, who scurried for answers and safety.
There are many answers which could be answered during the next 48 hours, but the long and short of the whole event is that the annual Amarnath yatra has been curtailed for the time being.
HERE ARE THE TOP DEVELOPMENTS FROM KASHMIR:
- Jammu & Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik met a delegation of political leaders including PDP chief and former CM Mehbooba Mufti, IAS-turned-politician Shah Faesal among others late Friday night. Soon after the meeting, Mehbooba Mufti tweeted, “After a brief discussion, we called on Shri Satyapal Malik ji, Governor J&K & requested him to dispel rumours that’ve caused a sense of panic in the valley… “
- Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has directed the state administration to make all arrangements to ensure the safe return of Amarnath pilgrims from Jammu and Kashmir. He has also ordered the state police to stay on high alert to check any infiltration of terrorists from Kashmir into the state.
- Airlines have been advised to free up capacity that can be quickly deployed to the state so that tourists and pilgrims can be flown-out. On their part, airlines such as Air India, IndiGo and Vistara have waived rescheduling, cancellation charges for all flights to and from Srinagar.
- People in Kashmir are rushing to ATMs, petrol pumps and stocking up on essential supplies in wake of sudden developments on the ground.
- Reports are emerging that many Kashmiris have opened doors to their homes for those stranded in Gulmarg or any part of the Valley. Several people are said to be tweeting their address and contact information to reach out to those in distress.
- A Pakistan Army anti-personnel mine, an M-24 American sniper rifle with a telescope, IEDs, and caches of explosives, and ammunition were recovered in an extensive search along the Amarnath yatra route on Friday.
- A news agency report read that truckloads of provisions carried by the paramilitary forces were seen in Srinagar as ground forces were reportedly told to be ready for a Valley-wide curfew within the next 24 hours.
With IANS inputs