Fear and confusion have gripped residents in India-administered Kashmir after authorities issued an unprecedented order, cancelling a Hindu pilgrimage and asking tourists to leave the disputed region.
The order, issued on Friday by the Jammu and Kashmir state’s government, said that because of “intelligence inputs of terror threats” against the “Amarnath Yatra” (pilgrimage)
Amarnath Yatra is an annual Hindu pilgrimage in which hundreds of thousands pilgrims visit Amarnath cave in the region situated at an altitude of more than 3,800 meters.
Former Chief Minister of Kashmir Omar Abdullah also criticized the Indian government’s advisory. He said “Although this unprecedented order would seem to suggest a genuine fear of a massive terror strike directed at Amarnath ji yatris and tourists, this will do nothing to dampen the sense of fear & foreboding that prevails in the valley at the moment,”
As media reports said 25,000 military reinforcements have been sent to the Himalayan region.
The order, which came days after India deployed 10,000 additional troops in the disputed region, triggered panic among the residents, who began to stockpile essential supplies, including food, medicines and fuel in anticipation