The Kashmir Valley is fuelled with uncertainty and is in panic mode after the government, in a security advisory on Friday, suspended the Amarnath Yatra, and asked tourists to leave the state at the earliest fearing a major militant strike. The unprecedented move is the latest in a series of government actions in the state including enhanced troop deployment. An estimated 11,000 tourists, including yatris and over 200 foreign visitors, are currently in the Valley, government officials told The Indian Express.
On Saturday, Governor Satya Pal Malik Administration suspended the annual Machail Mata pilgrimage in hilly Kishtwar’s Paddar area adjoining Kashmir Valley. Later in the day, Malik met a delegation of political leaders led by National Conference Chief Omar Abdullah. Malik said that the state has no knowledge of any changes to constitutional provisions. Therefore, no panic should be created by unnecessarily linking this security matter with all kinds of other issues. On the other hand, Omar said, “More than what Governor tells us publicly, I definitely would like to hear from Govt of India publicly that there is nothing people have to worry about.”
Meanwhile, Congress condemning the advisory said that the people in J&K, Leh and Ladakh are in a state of perpetual fear. “There were terror-related incidents during Congress rules as well followed by similar situation during the Atal government, but even then an advisory asking the tourists to leave Kashmir and yatris to curtail the pilgrimage was not issued,”Gulam Nabi Azad said.