J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik
Amid panic among residents following a fresh order of the Jammu and Kashmir government asking tourists and Amarnath yatris to leave the Valley at the earliest, Governor Satya Pal Malik said there are “no plans to abrogate Article 35A of Constitution” giving special powers to the state.
“Pure security measure is being mixed up with other issues leading to panic in Kashmir Valley, Malik said on Friday night.
A delegation of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, J&K Peoples Movement chief Shah Faesal and Peoples Conference leaders Sajjad Lone and Imran Reza Ansari met the Governor.
The delegation expressed concerns about the panic situation in Kashmir Valley created by the developments during the day, including the advisory issued by the government asking Amarnath pilgrims and tourists to return as soon as possible, according to a Raj Bhavan statement.
"Governor Malik informed the delegation that there were serious and credible inputs which were available to the security agencies regarding terrorist attacks on the Amarnath Yatra...It is in this context that the government had issued an advisory asking Yatris and tourists to return as soon as possible," the statement added.
Malik said that "unnecessary panic" is being created by linking this measure to 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," he said and requested the leaders to ask their supporters "not to mix up matters, to maintain calm and not believe exaggerated rumours being circulated all around".
"The Governor himself had clarified matters on (Article) 35A yesterday in Baramulla and the day before in Srinagar," the statement added.
Malik had said in Baramulla and Srinagar that there were no plans to abrogate Article 35A of the Constitution, which gives special powers to Jammu and Kashmir.
Kashmir remained on the edge on Friday after the fresh earlier in the day, with many started stocking up dry ration and essentials, fearing long law and order disturbance.
The state government issued an advisory to Amarnath pilgrims and tourists to curtail their stay in Kashmir immediately.
"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," an order issued by Principal Secretary, Home Department, Shaleen Kabra here read.
The order led to panic in Kashmir which has remained tense for the past few days after the Centre ordered deployment of 100 companies of additional troops in the valley.
The deployment of the troops and various orders gave rise to the speculations about some major decision in the offing regarding the Jammu and Kashmir's special status.
Apprehending deterioration in the law and order situation, people were seen lining up at departmental stores in the city and elsewhere to stock up dry ration and essentials.
Petrol pumps also witnessed a huge rush of customers. Earlier in the day, the Army said Pakistan-based terrorists are planning to target the Amarnath Yatra in the Valley.
But security forces are up to the task to foil any such design, it added.
(With PTI inputs)