SRINAGAR: A new wave of fear has gripped the Indian Occupied Kashmir on the eve of the Hindu ritual festival of Amarnath Yatra today, Saturday.
A flurry of developments has given rise to this fear among locals, officials and political leaders alike. While the locals were already apprehensive of New Delhi’s announcement on Thursday to deploy 10,000 troops to the valley, reports of additional 25,000 troops have driven people to the edge.
Additionally, the news that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will follow up on its pre-election promise to repeal Article 35-A and Article 370 has added more panic.
Article 35-A gives “special status” to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir and also defines the “permanent residents” of the state, while Article 370 limits the Parliament’s power to make laws concerning the state.
The revocation of the two articles will effectively limit the rights of the locals and enhance the center’s powers over the region. This move is not different from what the self professed “Jewish state” of Israel is doing in Palestine.
The deployment of additional troops comes on the back of a two-day visit to the valley by Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
The same afternoon, the central government cancelled all preparations for the Hindu festival Amarnath Yatra citing a possible attack by Pakistan. The direction came after the Army, police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) held a joint press conference in Srinagar, saying that additional troops were deployed to give some rest to the already stretched paramilitary.
Pilgrims and tourists have been directed to leave the valley immediately. As a result, not only the security on entry and exit points have been raised but those assigned to Mosques, schools and other places has been withdrawn.
The situation has increased apprehension, and even some top officials in the administration are clueless. “Something is going to happen,” a bureaucrat posted in Srinagar secretariat said.
Long queues were seen outside fuel stations. “Everyone is saying that something big is going to happen and advising one another to pile up stocks,” said a Srinagar resident at a grocery shop in Lal Chowk. People had a war checklist in their hands. Baby food, medicines, water, salt, ration were some of the words mentioned in one such list.
In a late-night order, the Srinagar administration suspended all course work at the National Institute of Technology (NIT). “This is for the information of all the students of the institute that the class work for all courses stands suspended till further orders. The notice stands issued in accordance with the instruction received from the district administration Srinagar,” said the order signed by the registrar of the institute.
The situation is no doubt alarming. Given the recent reports of ISIS/ DAESH presence in the valley, coupled with the Indian alleged claim that Pakistan may create trouble in the region, it is highly likely that India has some “False Flag” operation in its mind. All indicators have been fulfilled. India seems to have a new piece of work ready in the follow up of an attack and this will not augur well for the region as a whole, a situation Indian has been desiring for long.