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Centre spreading fear, panic in Kashmir: Congress

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azam held a press conference today and targeted the Modi government, saying the Centre's move will affect many people whose livelihood depends on tourism in the state.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 3, 2019 8:07:47 pm
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad addressing media as party leaders (L-R) Karan Singh, Ambika Soni and P Chidambaram look on, in New Delhi, Saturday, Aug 3. (Express Photo By Amit Mehra)

The Congress Saturday condemned the Centre’s decision to suspend the Amarnath Yatra and asking tourists to leave Jammu and Kashmir, alleging that the BJP government was trying to create an atmosphere of fear and panic in the state. In a security advisory on Friday, the government suspended the annual pilgrimage tour and asked tourists to leave the state at the earliest fearing a major militant attack. Follow Live Updates

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azam held a press conference today and said the Centre’s move will affect many people whose livelihood depends on tourism in the state. He said BJP is spreading fear and hatred in the Valley and this reminds of the turbulent 90’s when the saffron party put pressure on the then prime minister VP Singh and tried to appoint their governor in the state. “BJP govt at that time had arranged buses/transport and brought Kashmiri pandits to Jammu. After 30 years, the same BJP govt is creating an atmosphere of fear in Kashmir,” he said.

Azad said that the people on J&K, Leh and Ladakh are in perpetual fear. (Express Photo by Amit Mehra)

Azad said sending additional forces in the state at this time is worrisome. “This hasn’t happened in 30 years,” he said.

The senior leader further said that the situation is tense in the Valley, due to the government’s latest move.

“Thousands of tourists, yatris are stranded at the bus stands, railway stations and at airports in Jammu and Kashmir. 2.50 lakh working-class people living in J&K including labours from UP, Bihar are leaving the state. The worst is that students of NIT Srinagar are also leaving the state and have vacated the campus,” he said.

ALSO READ | After Amarnath Yatra, J&K govt suspends Machail pilgrimage too

He said that the people on J&K, Leh and Ladakh are in perpetual fear and the Congress government has never asked the tourists to vacate the state in the last 30 years.

On Friday, General Officer Commanding (GoC) of Army’s 15 Corps Lt General K J S Dhillon held a press conference with JK DGP Dilbag Singh and IG CRPF Zulfiqar Hasan. The Srinagar-based Chinar Corps Commander told media that in the last three to four days, Army had received specific reports of Pakistan terrorists plotting to carry out an attack on the ongoing Amarnath Yatra.

Displaying pictures of a land mine bearing a Pakistan stamp, Dhillon said combined teams of the Army, CRPF and Jammu and Kashmir Police have been carrying out searches for the last few days. The government’s advisory to call off Amarnath Yatra came right after the Army’s press conference.

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