The Jammu and Kashmir government has requested the Indian Air Force to suspend the Amarnath pilgrimage They told pilgrims to either stay away or cut short their trip.
The Amarnath Yatra, started on July 1st which would have ended on August 15. The trip was earlier suspended till August 4 due to weather forecast in the Valley. A terrorist attack on the Amarnath yatra in July 2017 had killed 7 pilgrims and injured 19 people.
“A request has been received from the state administration for the IAF to carry the pilgrims out of the Kashmir valley in their C-17 transport. The first such sortie of the C-17s is likely to fly out of the Kashmir valley in a couple of hours,” government sources said.
The order came soon after the wake of Chinar Corps Commander Lt. General K.J.S Dhillon. He stated that in Srinagar an M-24 American sniper rifle along with a telescope had been recovered from a terror cache.
“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 the 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 order read.
“Last three to four days, we were getting specific and confirmed intelligence inputs that terrorists led by Pakistan and Pakistan Army are trying to target the Shri Amarnathji yatra which is going on,” General Officer Commanding of Army’s 15 Corps Lieutenant General KJS Dhillon told a joint press conference with Jammu and Kashmir Police.
“We had some major successes during the searches. Some Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were recovered, which have been neutralised. The searches have yielded an American M-24 (sniper) rifle and an anti-personnel mine with Pakistan Ordnance factory markings on it, which clearly indicates that Pakistan is involved in terrorism in Kashmir,” he further added.