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Friday, 02 August, 2019, 16 : 50 PM [IST]

J&K govt asks Amarnath Yatra pilgrims, tourists to leave amid security threat

As per NDTV, Amarnath Yatra pilgrims and tourists have been advised by the Jammu and Kashmir government to cut short their stay in the Kashmir Valley "immediately" and go back, in an unprecedented note issued against the backdrop of intelligence inputs of terror threats.

"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 state government said in a statement.

The advisory came shortly after the army and the state police, in a joint press conference, said there were "confirmed intelligence reports" that terrorists backed by the Pakistan army were trying to disrupt the Amarnath Yatra.

"In the last three-four days, there were confirmed intelligence reports that terrorists backed by Pakistan and its army is trying to disrupt Amarnath Yatra and based on that a thorough search was conducted. We had major successes in these searches," said Lt General KJS Dhillon, Chinar Corps Commander.

Among the army's finds were a landmine with Pakistan ordnance factory markings and an M-24 American sniper rifle with a telescope, the officer said. The yatra route was being "sanitised for three days", he disclosed.

Lt General Dhillon said "direct involvement of the Pakistan Army including mines and ammunition had been recovered."

According to the officer, there was a "massive threat of IEDs or crude bombs" and bombs had been found in searches along the Amarnath Yatra route.

"The searches are still going on. The Pakistan Army is desperate to disrupt peace. This will not be allowed to happen. No one can be allowed to disrupt the peace," said Lt General Dhillon.

Over the past few days, the movement of troops to the state, where central paramilitary personnel are being airdropped in sorties, has fueled speculation about security threats.

Some 10,000 personnel of central forces were ordered for the state about a week ago and they were in the process of reaching their posts. The reports of a surge in troop deployment coincided with inputs that the centre is on high alert for August 15 Independence Day celebrations, when terror groups planning attacks in India are active. (Source: NDTV)

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