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Amarnath Yatra curtailed after fear of terror attack; panic in valley

Chinar corps commander sniper rifle, mines and ammunition found on yatra route; tourists also asked to leave valley.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Aug 03, 2019, 07.40 AM IST
Amarnath yatra under terror threat, J&K govt asks pilgrims to return
Amarnath yatra under terror threat, J&K govt asks pilgrims to return
SRINAGAR: The J&K administration has curtailed this year’s Amarnath Yatra two weeks ahead of its scheduled closure following reports of security forces that terrorists could target it and disrupt peace in the state. The government had earlier suspended the pilgrimage till August 4 due to bad weather but pilgrims and tourists have now been asked to curtail their stay in the valley too. The order has triggered panic and fueled fear among the population a major announcement was in the offing.

Giving reasons for the security measures, Chinar Corps Commander Lt General KJS Dhillon told journalists in Srinagar that mines, an American M-24 sniper rifle and ammunition were found along Baltal and Pahalgam pilgrimage routes.

“We cannot take any risk after we found so much ammunition on the yatra route,” J&K police additional director general Muneer Khan told ET. He said that many pilgrims had headed for tourists spots after the yatra and hence the advisory for everyone. “This is a security-related development and I don’t know anything else. We can’t stop panic reactions. The order is very clear,” said Khan.


“There have been several infiltration attempts and a lot of people have gathered at launch pads across the line of control. We are dealing with the situation strictly and will retaliate with even greater force if there is infiltration or ceasefire violations,” Dhillon said.

Security forces will deal with the militant leadership, who frequently use IED blasts, he said. “We have busted five modules who prepare IEDs and most of them were trained by Pakistani’s Jaish-e-Muhammad. In the past few months, more than 10 attempts were made to trigger IED blasts, especially in Shopian and Pulwama districts,” police IG SP Pani told reporters.

J&K police chief Dilbag Singh and ADG CRPF Zulfikar Hassan were present at the media briefing. Dhillon said that Pakistan and its army were desperate to disrupt peace but the forces would foil their designs. “We are carrying out extensive search operation and have already recovered Pakistan ordnance factory made mine, a sniper rifle and ammunition, indicating the threat level and how Pakistan is involved in terrorism in Kashmir,” Dhillon said. He reiterated the amnesty offer for local militants and warned that 83% militants were once stone pelters.

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