J&K govt cites terror threat; asks Amarnath yatris, tourists to leave at earliest

Srinagar,  Citing intelligence inputs of terror threats, the Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday issued an advisory asking Amarnath pilgrims and tourists to “curtail” their stay in the valley and leave “as soon as possible”.

The advisory was issued by the Home Department of the Jammu and Kashmir government after top officials of the Army, CRPF and state police said there were specific inputs that Pakistan-backed terrorists were planning to target the ongoing Amarnath Yatra.

“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 advisory said.

The annual yatra to the holy Amarnath cave in the mountains of south Kashmir began on July 1 and is scheduled to end on August 15.

Prior the advisory, Commander of the Army’s Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt Gen K.J.S. Dhillon, CRPF Additional Director General Zulfikar Hassan and state Director General of Police Dilbag Singh held a joint press conference here and said Pakistan-backed terrorists were planning to disturb peace in Kashmir and were particularly planning to target the Amarnath yatra.

Dhillon said the security forces had recovered an anti-personnel mine of Pakistan Ordnance and a sniper rifle during raids at terror hideouts.

Hassan, whose Force is mainly deployed for securing the yatra route, said the terrorists have been making serious attempts to disrupt the pilgrimage but have not succeeded because of the meticulous work by the security forces.

The authorities have already rushed over 10,000 additional paramilitary personnel to Kashmir in the wake of intelligence inputs that the yatra could be targeted by the terrorists.

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