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Jammu and Kashmir News Live: Centre can’t toy with special status, says Mufti; UK issues travel advisory

Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Latest News Today Live Updates: In Srinagar, a senior police officer dismissed the rumours that Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel were being asked to deposit their weapons, and asserted that strict action would be taken against people behind it.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 3, 2019 11:57:45 pm
jammu and kshmir, njp, jammu kashmir core group, delhi meeting, j&k news, bjp j&k, indian express The unprecedented move is the latest in a series of government actions in the state including enhanced troop deployment. (File)

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.

Live Blog

Follow LIVE UPDATES on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, a day after the govt's advisory suspending Amarnath Yatra.

Highlights

    23:57 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    Indian allegations of crossing LOC, possession of bodies are mere propaganda: Pak

    Pakistan Armed Forces' Spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said, "Indian allegations of cross LOC action by Pakistan and possession of bodies are mere propaganda. Such blatant lies / staged dramas are Indian disinformation manoeuvre to divert world attention from increased atrocities by Indian Occupation Forces inside IOJ&K."

    22:28 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    Cancellation charges waived for passengers travelling to J&K

    Railway waives cancellation charges for next 48 hours for passengers travelling from Jammu and Kashmir. (PTI)

    22:15 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    Army foils infiltration bid by Pak BAT, bodies of four SSG Commandos located on Indian side

    The Indian Army on Saturday said that an infiltration bid by the Border Action Team (BAT) of Pakistan Army was foiled in Keran Sector on the intervening night of July 31-August 1, and a heavy casualty was inflicted on the Pakistani side. The Army in a statement said four bodies of possibly Pakistani SSG Commandoes or some of the terrorists have been located on the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC).

    Read Full Story Here

    22:15 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    6216 passengers were reported at Srinagar International Airport

    A total of 6216 passengers were reported at Srinagar International Airport today, for travelling out of valley.

    20:35 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    Four militants killed in J-K's Baramulla, Shopian districts

    Four militants, including a commander of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), were killed in two separate encounters with security forces in Baramulla and Shopian districts of Jammu and Kashmir in the last 36 hours, police said on Saturday. While two militants were killed in Sopore township of Baramulla district of north Kashmir, two others were killed in Shopian district of south Kashmir in an operation which began on Friday, a police official said. Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Warpora area of Sopore on Saturday and two JeM militants were killed in an encounter, he said. (PTI)

    19:57 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    Cong's Digvijaya warns Centre on 'forceful move' in Kashmir

    Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said on Saturday that the BJP should tread carefully in the restive Jammu and Kashmir, a day after the Centre issued an advisory asking Amarnath pilgrims and tourists to leave the Valley as soon as possible. Speaking to reporters here, Singh said a forceful decision in the state could inflict a massive loss on the country. "Have the heavens fallen that you (Centre) have called off the Amarnath yatra? A force of 20,000 (troopers) has been sent there (J-K). It is an indication of a big exercise," he told reporters. "But the BJP (government) should keep in mind the Valley's sensitivity and work thoughtfully. If they move ahead forcefully, there is a possibility that the country could suffer massively," Singh claimed.

    19:36 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    Ministry of Civil Aviation directs airlines to rein in surging airfares

    Ministry of Civil Aviation has advised airlines to rein in the surging airfare, for pilgrims returning from Amarnath Yatra. (ANI)

    19:34 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    See Pics | Amarnath yatris, tourists leaving Jammu & Kashmir

    Pilgrims of Amarnath yatra and tourists prepare to leave Jammu & Kashmir after a directive issued by the government. 

    (Source: PTI)

    19:25 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    J&K Cong seeks clarification from Centre

    "We are concerned about the situation. No one knows what is happening. There is uncertainty. We are seeing this type of situation for the first time and it has raised questions. We want the Centre as well as the state government to clarify what is going on," JKPCC president G A Mir told reporters. PTI reported that the JKPCC chief said his party would raise the issue in Parliament on Monday and seek clarification from the central government.

    18:43 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    NC, PDP, Cong deliberately trying to create fear: BJP

    The BJP's Jammu and Kashmir unit on Saturday accused leaders of the NC, PDP and the Congress of deliberately trying to trigger panic among the people as they themselves were frightened, and asserted that the common man has no fear. The party's state unit president, Ravinder Raina, said every common citizen of the country is safe under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is applying balm on the wounds of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. "Some politicians in the valley are knocking the door of the Governor (Satya Pal Malik) in the dead of night because they are frightened...The governor had also made it clear that those who are corrupt cannot save themselves. Those who have ill intentions, involved in betrayal and looted the money of poor people and filled their coffers are a worried lot," Raina told reporters. (PTI)

    18:10 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    British High Commission in New Delhi is monitoring the situation

    "On August 2, the Indian media reported that the government of Jammu and Kashmir had advised tourists and Amarnath Yatra pilgrims to curtail their stay in the Kashmir Valley immediately and take necessary measures to return home as soon as possible because of security threats," the FCO update noted. "The British High Commission in New Delhi is monitoring the situation. If you're in Jammu and Kashmir, you should remain vigilant, follow the advice of local authorities and keep up to date with developments, including via this travel advice," it said. (PTI)

    18:09 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    UK updates advisory for British nationals to be "vigilant" in J&K

    The UK government on Saturday updated the travel advisory for its citizens travelling to Jammu and Kashmir, warning them to "remain vigilant" and up to date with the developments, citing reports in the national media over a heightened security threat in the state. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) updated its advisory a day after the authorities in Jammu and Kashmir suspended the annual Amarnath yatra due to security reasons, and issued an advisory asking pilgrims and tourists to return as soon as possible. (PTI)

    17:37 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    Cong wants PM to make statement in Parliament on J-K situation

    Condemning the government's decision to curtail the Amarnath Yatra, the Congress on Saturday said the entire country is worried and Prime Minister Narendra Modi should make a statement in Parliament on the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Addressing a press conference at the Congress office here, senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Amarnath Yatra has never been curtailed, even when the pilgrimage was targeted by terrorists. "The Prime Minister should make statements in both houses of Parliament on the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir. It's his duty," Azad said. (PTI)

    16:54 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    Workers of all political parties should come together: Mehbooba

    Workers of all political parties should come together so that a message can be given to Centre that they can't toy with J&K's special position. Recent developments in J&K have created fear among people&it's unfortunate that Centre isn't issuing a clear statement.

    16:52 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    Home ministry is preparing for some misadventure: Chidambaram

    In the last 48 hours, it appears that the Home Ministry is preparing for some misadventure in Jammu Kashmir, and if they think that they can push it through without any legal measures, they are completely wrong, says P Chidambaram. He adds that there are special constitutional provisions for Arunachal, Nagaland Meghalaya and Jammu Kashmir, just because we have made these provision it doesn't mean it can be unmade too. 

    16:40 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    'J&K integral part of Republic of India, Congress stands with people of state'
    16:26 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    BJP spreading fear and hatred in Jammu & Kashmir: Gulam Nabi Azad

    BJP is spreading fear and hatred in the state of Jammu & Kashmir, every yatri and tourists have expressed that they were here peacefully and the government is asking them to leave. They say that the Kashmiri people are ready to live and die for them, its the government of India which is spreading fear through advisories, says Gulam Nabi Azad. 

    16:23 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    The situation is tense in state, thousands stranded: Gulam Nabi Azad

    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. 

    16:21 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    Sending additional forces at this time worrisome: Congress

    Senior Congress leader Gulam Nabi Azad addressing a press conference said that the people in J&K, Leh and Ladakh are in a state of perpetual fear. He added that this has happened for the first time in 30 years and 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 or yatris to curtail the pilgrimage was not issued. 

    16:15 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    Desist from any 'political adventurism': CPI(M) to Centre on J-K situation

    CPI(M) said on Saturday that the government should desist from any "political adventurism" in Jammu and Kashmir that will have grave consequences for the country and demanded explanation on steps being taken in the state. The party's politburo in a statement said the "unprecedented" cancellation of the Amarnath Yatra has heightened tensions and anxieties among the people of the state. "A serious situation has developed in Jammu & Kashmir as a consequence of the recent steps taken by the Central government. The deployment of an additional contingent of paramilitary forces – amounting to 35,000 troops – has raised questions about their intended purpose. "The unprecedented cancellation of the Amarnath Yatra mid-way and the instructions to tourists to leave the valley forthwith have heightened tensions and anxieties among the people," the statement said. (PTI)

    15:56 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    VHP cancels upcoming Budha Amarnath pilgrimage in J-K

    The Vishva Hindu Parishad on Saturday announced cancellation of the upcoming annual Budha Amarnath yatra, citing threat posed by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists to the pilgrimage. The 10-day yatra in Poonch district of Jammu region, organised by the VHP, was scheduled to begin on August 6. "In view of the emerging security situation following the recovery of US made sniper rifle and landmine along the Amarnath yatra track in Kashmir, we have decided to cancel the yatra to Budha Amarnath for the safety of the pilgrims," State VHP president Leela Karan Sharma told reporters here. (PTI)

    14:42 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    Students of Kashmir Polytechnic College asked to vacate hostel

    Students of Kashmir Polytechnic College have been asked to vacate hostel by the college administration. A notice has been issued in this regard. 

    Caption
    14:41 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    Governor requests political leaders to ask their supporters to maintain calm

    Governor Malik also 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. A pure security measure is being mixed up with issues with which it has no connection. That is the cause of the panic. The Home Secretary and the Divisional Commissioner have clarified this yesterday.


    The Governor requested the political leaders to ask their supporters to maintain calm and not believe exaggerated and unfounded rumours being circulated all around.

    14:00 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    JK Governor Satya Pal Malik says state has no knowledge of any changes to constitutional provisions

    J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik today met a delegation of political leaders led by Omar Abdullah. Abdullah and the delegation members apprised the Governor about the obtaining situation in the Kashmir valley after the Government Advisory asking Amarnath Yatris and tourists to return as soon as possible. They also mentioned about the panic buying by people of essential commodities.

    Governor Malik informed the delegation that the security situation has developed in a manner which required immediate action. There were credible inputs which were available to the security agencies regarding terrorist attacks on the Amarnath Yatra. There has been intensified shelling on the LOC by Pakistan which was responded to effectively by the Army. This was mentioned in the Press Conference yesterday afternoon by the Corps Commander of the Army and the DGP. Details of weapons and ammunition recovered were given. The seriousness of the threat required immediate action. It is in this context that the government had issued an advisory asking Yatris and tourists to return as soon as possible. These are a vulnerable group of people who do not know the area and are extremely vulnerable to a terrorist or a fidayeen attack. It is the responsibility of the state to provide security to all its citizens. Therefore, as a precautionary measure, Yatris and tourists have been asked to return. This is to ensure that no terrorist attack takes place on them.

    Therefore, security to its citizens has to be provided by the State, even at some inconvenience which is being done.

    13:51 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    J&K state has no knowledge of any changes to constitutional provisions: Governor Satya Pal Malik

    J&K Governor said, "No need to mix deployment of troops with all kind of issues, there is no connection and therefore no cause for panic." He also said the state has no knowledge of any changes to constitutional provisions.

    13:49 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    Yet again the valley is on edge: Mehbooba Mufti
    13:40 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    NIT Srinagar suspends classes, non-local students leave for home

    A day after the authorities at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) campus in Srinagar ordered the suspension of classes till further orders, the non-local students started vacating the premises on Saturday morning. Sources said that as many as 26 J-K SRTC buses arrived at the campus early morning that would ferry students to Jammu. Since early morning, NIT students with their luggage were waiting inside the campus for the busses. “We saw the notification yesterday in our group about the class suspension and buses will arrive here in the morning to take us to Jammu. I am getting frequent calls from my family to come back home immediately,” a civil engineering student at NIT from Andhra Pradesh at the campus told The Indian Express. “We have been informed by the staff here that buses will take us to Jammu.” Read More

    13:21 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    Would like to hear from Govt of India publicly that there is nothing people have to worry about: Omar Abdullah

    Omar Abdullah also said, "Governor isn't the final word on J&K. The final word on J&K is the Govt of India. Therefore, 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."

    13:05 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    Wanted to know about the current situation in J&K: Omar Abdullah after meeting Satya Pal malik

    Omar Abdullah also said, "We wanted to know about the current situation in J&K. When we ask officials, they say something is happening, but nobody knows what is actually happening. We don't want any silence from GOI, we have they realise it is not in interest of the country to have unrest in Kashmir."

    13:04 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    Omar Abdullah: Governor has assured no announcement on Article 370, 35A and Trifurcation

    Omar Abdullah said, "We spoke about Article 370 and even Trifurcation with the Governor. He has assured us that nothing of this sort is going to happen, no announcement as such are to be made. The Governor has assured no announcement on Article 370, 35A and Trifurcation."

    "But we want that on Monday something from Parliament comes too. So that we understand why there was a need to end tourism in the country. I want to ask people to maintain calm. This is my request to people that we deal with the situation calmly," he added.v

    13:01 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    Omar Abdullah meets J&K Governor

    National Conference leader Omar Abdullah Saturday met Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik to "find out what is happening in the state."

    12:25 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    In 2019, 7% of terrorists were killed in the first 10 days after joining militancy

    Lt Gen Dhillon said 83% of local people who picked up weapons had a record of stone-pelting. “I request all mothers, if today your child throws stones at security forces for Rs 500, then he will become a terrorist tomorrow.”

    “In 2019, 7% of terrorists were killed in the first 10 days after joining militancy. I would request mothers to listen to this carefully… 9% are killed in the first month, 17% within three months, 36% in six months and 64% of terrorists who pick up weapons are eliminated within the first one year. This is the shelf-life of a terrorist who picks up a weapon.”

     

    J&K DGP Dilbag Singh said there were “fresh inputs of increase in violence by terrorists” which made it necessary to “strengthen the counter-intelligence grid” on the ground.

    12:21 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    Pakistan-made mine, a huge cache of arms were recovered from Yatra route

    On Friday, Lt Gen Dhillon, speaking at a joint briefing by security forces in Srinagar, said a Pakistan-made mine and a huge cache of arms were recovered from along the Yatra route.

    He said searches were conducted along the route after specific intelligence that Pakistan-based terrorists might target the Yatra using improvised explosive devices and attack pilgrims. The arms seized include a mine with a Pakistan Ordnance Factory stamp and an American sniper rifle M24.

    Lt Gen Dhillon said the IED threat is more “pronounced” in the hinterland while the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) remains “largely peaceful”. Regular infiltration attempts, he said, are being made by Pakistan-based terrorists but the Army has been foiling the bids at the LoC.

    12:20 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    J&K officials said the security threat to the Yatra is “significantly high”

    J&K officials said the security threat to the Yatra is “significantly high” and despite extensive preparations and high deployment of troops, it is being curtailed after “careful consideration”. This year, within a month of the start of the Yatra, approximately 3.40 lakh yatris have visited the cave shrine, according to official figures.

    12:19 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    Congress urged the Centre not to take any decision “which would precipitate a deep crisis”

    In New Delhi, the Congress, at a meeting chaired by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, urged the Centre not to take any decision “which would precipitate a deep crisis” and asked it to maintain the “constitutional guarantees” given to J&K. The party said the “massive build-up of security forces, the curtailment of the Amarnath Yatra, also the unprecedented advisories being issued to the tourists, yatris and other civilians, are all creating an atmosphere of heightened insecurity and fear”.

    12:16 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    All-party meeting called for unity among political parties on Friday

    On Friday, an all-party meeting convened by the People’s United Front, an alliance formed by Shah Faesal’s J&K People’s Movement and Engineer Rashid’s Awami Ittehad Party, called for unity among political parties in the wake of “an impending constitutional crisis”. The BJP gave the meeting a miss. Later, a delegation led by Mehbooba Mufti met the Governor and expressed concern about the situation in the Valley. Malik, in turn, informed them that there were serious and credible terror threats to the Yatra.

    Speaking to The Indian Express, BJP state spokesperson Altaf Thakur said, “We will not attend any meetings called by any regional party. We are a national party and whatever is the party’s stand nationally, is our stand in J&K. Besides, regional parties are creating a situation of fear and panic which we will diffuse.”

    12:15 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    Do not tinker with our identity: Mehbooba Mufti tells PM
    12:14 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    Mehbooba Mufti: Is GOI only concerned about the safety of yatris while Kashmiris have been left to their own devices?

    Mehbooba Mufti further tweeted: "Complete chaos on the streets of Srinagar. People rushing to ATMs, petrol pumps & stocking up on essential supplies. Is GOI only concerned about the safety of yatris while Kashmiris have been left to their own devices? Restive situation in Kashmir demands that mainstream parties & stakeholders come together to deliberate on the future course of action. I will be calling on NC Patron Farooq sahab, my former colleagues @sajadlone, @imranrezaansari & @shahfaesal to discuss a way forward. "

    After an hour, She said, "After a brief discussion, we called on Shri Satyapal Malik ji, Governor J&K & requested him to dispel rumours that’ve caused a sense of panic in the valley. Thankful to Farooq sahab, @sajadlone, @imranrezaansari and @shahfaesal for their time today."

    12:12 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    The gloves are finally off & India has chosen territory over people: Mehbooba Mufti

    Responding to the order, PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti tweeted: “You failed to win over the love of a single Muslim majority state which rejected division on religious grounds & chose secular India. The gloves are finally off & India has chosen territory over people.

    12:03 (IST)03 Aug 2019
    Omar Abdullah, other NC leaders to meet J&K Governor at 12 pm today

    National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah took to Twitter to say that he along with his party colleagues is going to meet Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik today at 12 pm.

    Jammu and kashmir, J&K situation live updates, Amarnath yatra suspended, Satya pal malik, J&K residents, Indian express People line up at a petrol pump in Srinagar following the government advisory on Friday. (Express photo by Shuaib Masoodi)

    The move led to a rush at petrol pumps, grocery shops and ATMs, as people stocked up on supplies. Airlines have waived cancellation charges, tourists are packing up to leave, even the National Institute of Technology in Srinagar issued a notice, citing the district administration, that class work for all courses “stands suspended till further orders”.

    Political leaders have appealed to the Centre to prevent the Kashmir situation to prevent it from any kind of uncertainties. In Delhi, the top leadership of the Congress urged the Narendra Modi government not to take any decision that could “precipitate a deep crisis”, and asked it to maintain “constitutional guarantees” given to J&K. Meanwhile, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti reached out to mainstream political leaders in the Valley on how best to address the situation and the apprehension over possible abrogation of J&K’s Constitutional safeguards.

    The order to tourists and yatris is unprecedented. Even at the height of militancy, the Yatra kept its date. This adds to the uncertainty in the Valley. The seizure of Pak-origin weapons strengthens New Delhi’s case that the terror tap from across the border is still very much open.

    “We have inputs of a major militant strike on the Yatra and the tourists. There have been some recoveries too, as revealed by the Director General of Police and the Corps Commander in the press conference. That’s why this decision,” Additional DGP (Law and Order) Munir Khan told The Indian Express.

    Also Read | Days ago, J-K Governor said no need to panic but series of orders did just the opposite | Jitters in Valley: J-K calls off Amarnath Yatra, tells tourists to leave

    Just about a week ago, senior government officials were upbeat about “grassroots democracy” gaining traction in the Valley with panchayats being empowered over the last nine months since elections and were celebrating the fact that yatra pilgrims had breached the numbers recorded the previous year.

    Non-BJP political leaders in the Valley claim this flurry of orders suggests that the establishment is preparing for “defining action” in the Valley which could include diluting or abrogation of Article 35A that defines the state residents of Jammu and Kashmir and their rights.

    On July 25, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) ordered deployment of 100 companies of Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPF) to “strengthen the CI (counter-insurgency) grid as well as for maintaining law and order situation in J&K”. This was later described by the police as a “relief to over-stretched training companies of J&K Police on duty since panchayat elections last year”.

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