‘Specific Terror Threat’ To Amarnath Yatra, Pilgrims Asked To Return Immediately
The Jammu and Kashmir government has asked Amarnath Yatra pilgrims and tourists to return as soon as possible in the wake of intelligence inputs of "specific terror threats" to the pilgrimage.
"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 principal secretary (home) said in a security advisory.
On Friday, security forces detected a Pakistan-made mine and recovered a huge cache of arms along the Amarnath Yatra route, the Indian Army said.
Searches were launched along the pilgrimage route after specific intelligence that Pakistan-based terrorists might target the Amarnath Yatra using improvised explosive devices and attack pilgrims, Lieutenant General KJS Dhillon said in a joint briefing by security forces in Srinagar.
The forces launched a massive operation along the Amarnath Yatra route, during which a huge a cache of arms was recovered and it included a mine with a Pakistan Ordnance Factory stamp and an American sniper rifle M-24, said Dhillon.
The lieutenant general, however, refused to give the exact location of the recovery as a search operation was still going on.
The threat of improvised explosive devices in Jammu and Kashmir is "pronounced" in the hinterland even as the situation along Line of Control remains "largely peaceful", said the army officer. Regular infiltration attempts are being made by Pakistan-based terrorists but the Indian Army is thwarting their bids at the LoC, he said.
On reports of additional troops being sent to the Kashmir Valley, J&K DGP Dilbag Singh said security personnel were on regular duty during the year because of elections, among others, with no time to relax.
There were also "fresh inputs of increase in violence by terrorists" which made it necessary to "strengthen the counter intelligence grid" on the ground, he said.
Refusing to give the exact number of additional troops being sent to the Valley, Singh said they will give on-ground troops some time to relax and strengthen the security system.