Mehbooba Mufti cries foul on govt advisory to Amarnath pilgrims

New Delhi: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday cried foul on the government’s advisory to Amarnath pilgrims and other tourists to curtail their visit “immediately” in view of the security situation in the state and claimed that the Centre was planning “something” to rob Kashmiris’ of their rights and identity.

In a series of tweets, the PDP chief said that the government was preparing for something which could have “catastrophic consequences” and “push Kashmiris to the brink”.

“Mufti sahab (her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed) would always say that whatever Kashmiris will get, it will be from their own country India. But today, the same country seems to be preparing to rob them of whatever little is left to protect their unique identity,” she said.

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Mufti accused the Centre of distracting the people’s attention from “real issues” by pushing Kashmir in the public discourse.

She said: “The economy is in free fall but I hope like always Kashmir isn’t used as a red herring to distract masses from the real issues. Such a move will have catastrophic consequences & push Kashmiris to the brink.”

She raised an alarm over the recent development in the valley including the heavy deployment of security forces, saying “India has chosen territory over people”.

“You failed to win over the love of a single Muslim majority state which rejected division on religious grounds & chose secular India. The gloves are finally off & India has chosen territory over people,” she added.

She further tweeted: “Complete chaos on the streets of Srinagar. People rushing to ATMs, petrol pumps and stocking up on essential supplies. Is GOI only concerned about the safety of yatris while Kashmiris have been left to their own devices?”
Mufti’s statement came to the close heel of state government’s advisory to tourists and Amarnath pilgrims asking them to curtail their stay in the Valley”immediately” in view of a possible terrorist attack.

“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 security advisory.

Earlier in the day, Srinagar-based Chinar Corps commander Lt Gen KJS Dhillon said, “In the last three to four days, we got confirmed intel reports that terrorists are trying to disrupt the Amarnath Yatra. A thorough search was carried out on the routes by a combined team of the Army, CRPF and Jammu and Kashmir Police.”

Last week, the Union Home Ministry had ordered the deployment of additional 100 companies of central paramilitary forces in the state. One company comprises around 100 personnel.

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