Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday asked if the lives of local residents of Jammu and Kashmir mattered to the government after the state asked tourists and Amarnath Yatra pilgrims to cut short their trip following intelligence inputs about “terror threats”.
“People rushing to ATMs, petrol pumps and stocking up on essential supplies,” she tweeted. “Is GOI [Government of India] only concerned about the safety of yatris while Kashmiris have been left to their own devices?” The Peoples Democratic Party chief said that there was “complete chaos” on the streets of Srinagar.
The order was issued after security forces in the state alleged that Pakistan-based militants backed by the country’s Army were plotting attacks on the Amarnath Yatra. Lieutenant General KJS Dhillon, in a press conference, claimed “mines and ammunition, had been recovered” on the Amarnath Yatra route along with bombs. A landmine with Pakistan ordnance factory markings and an M-24 American sniper rifle with a telescopic sight were also found.
After the government order, Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement chairperson Shah Faesal asked if the state government was going to issue a similar advisory for locals. “JK Govt has asked Tourists and Amarnath Yatris to leave Kashmir immediately in view of a security threat,” he tweeted. “Should Kashmiris also migrate to other places or is it that our lives do not matter?”
Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner Baseer Ahmed Khan urged people not to believe any rumour. “No schools in the district have been closed,” he told ANI. “People should contact their concerned deputy commissioners for reliable information.”
Earlier in the day, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah had cautioned that the “order would seem to suggest a genuine fear of a massive terror strike”.
The recent developments came amid deployment of additional troops in the Valley, which triggered speculations in the region. Earlier on Friday, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs said the decision to deploy extra paramilitary personnel in the state was based on the security situation in the Valley and requirements of rotation.