Amarnath Yatra pilgrims, tourists asked to leave Kashmir amid inputs of terror threats

Amarnath Yatra pilgrims and tourists have been asked by the Jammu and Kashmir government to “immediately” trim their stay in the Kashmir Valley  in an unprecedented advisory amid intelligence inputs of terror threats.

This sudden advisory comes as a massive build-up of troops has been taking place over the past week.

“Keeping in view the latest intelligence inputs of terror threats, with specific targeting of the Amarnath Yatra, and given the prevailing security situation in the Kashmir Valley, in the interest of safety and security of the tourists and Amarnath Yatris, it is advised that they may curtail their stay in the valley immediately and take necessary measures to return as soon as possible,” the state government’s notice read.

The advisory was put out shortly after the army and the Jammu and Kashmir police, in a joint press conference, said there were “confirmed intelligence reports” that terrorists backed by the Pakistan army were trying to disrupt the Amarnath Yatra. Mines and ammunition recovered along the route had confirmed the “direct involvement of the Pakistan Army”.

A landmine with Pakistan ordnance factory markings and an M-24 American sniper rifle with a telescope had been found along the route of the annual pilgrimage to the Hindu cave shrine around 140 km from Srinagar.

Over the past couple of days 10,000 central personnel were ordered to the state. The reports of a surge in troop deployment coincided with inputs of a terror strike around August 15 Independence Day celebrations. On Thursday, the centre reportedly sent over 25,000 more troops to Kashmir, fueling speculation that something major was afoot.

Source : Various

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