The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Tuesday advised people in the state to stay calm and not to believe in rumours in the aftermath of the Indian Air Force's strikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammed's terror camp in Pakistan.
Anxious residents of Srinagar and other major towns in the Kashmir valley could be seen discussing the latest developments amid heightened tension between India and Pakistan following the February 14 Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed.
"We hope that it ends here and there is no more escalation. If there is escalation in hostilities, it will be the people on either side of the Line of Control who will suffer the most," Abdul Gani Dar (80), who has witnessed all wars between India and Pakistan, said.
Many residents, including former chief minister Omar Abdullah, took to social media to express their fears about the possibility of a full blown confrontation between the two nuclear powers.
"The problem now becomes PM Imran Khan's commitment to his country - 'Pakistan will not think about responding, Pakistan WILL respond'. What shape will response take? Where will response be? Will India have to respond to Pakistan's response?" Abdullah wrote on his Twitter handle.
Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam on Tuesday asked people to remain stress free and go about their normal activities. "In case there is anything to be communicated regarding people's safety and security, the government will do so directly, through media," Subrahmanyam said in a brief statement without mentioning the air strike.
"The people are urged to be calm and not to believe in rumours circulating on WhatsApp or other social media," he said. Residents of Kashmir had gone on a hoarding spree after the government launched a crackdown on separatists and Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir cadres last week. The move was followed by the deployment of 100 additional companies of paramilitary forces in the valley.
In an apparent dig, Abdullah said the reports about an Indian Air Force C17 Globemaster III flying over Jammu and Kashmir was about election duty and had nothing to do with the air strikes in Pakistan. "It's sitting in Srinagar offloading paramilitary forces to deal with internal security & election duty. Has nothing to do with the airstrike in to Pakistan this morning," the National Conference leader said.
Meanwhile, the officials said security forces have been asked to remain on alert as the NIA is carrying out raids on residences of some top separatist leaders and their sympathisers.
Security forces have been deployed in strength in vulnerable areas of the city as officials expect protests against the raids.