Omar Demands Centre’s reply as additional troops arrive in Kashmir, Govt cuts short 2nd pilgrimage in Kishtwar

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah met Governor Satya Pal Malik on Saturday to seek answers over the unprecedented travel advisory issued to the Amarnath Yatra and the deployment of additional forces in the state. The situation in the state became tense after the Ministry of Home Affairs last week deployed 100 additional companies of paramilitary personnel.

“We have no idea what is happening. So a delegation in which I was there too met the governor and we asked him why this is happening. We also asked him about rumours of Article 35A and Article 370 being removed… to which he assured that no such thing is happening,” said Omar Abdullah following his meeting with Malik at Raj Bhavan in Srinagar.

Abdullah’s statement come just a day after the government in an unprecendented move cut short the Amarnath Yatra citing terror threats. An advisory that was issued by the state Home Department asking people to take “necessary measures to return as soon as possible” sent a wave of frenzy among hundreds of pilgrims, tourists and residents.

On Saturday, the last batch of 363 Amarnath pilgrims were shifted from the Baltal route to Jammu even as the government suspended the Machail Mata Yatra in Kishtwar and stopped devotees at Udhampur.

Meanwhile, Indian Air Force’s Lockheed Martin C-130s on Saturday morning reportedly brought in additional troops.

In another unexpected move, the state police withdrew security from a number of shrines, mosques and even some courts.

The deployment has given rise to apprehension about the abrogation of the contentious Article 35A. Justifying their decision to call in 100 additional companies last week, the Home Ministry on Friday had said that deployment of paramilitary forces in the state was based on the security situation there and requirements of rotation.