J&K on High Alert, terror cache recovered, Omar Abdullah reacts
Indian Armed Forces were put on high alert today, and a terror cache was seized along the Amarnath Yatra route.
The Indian Government today decided to put both the Army and the Air Force on high alert in Jammu and Kashmir. This came a day after an additional 28,000 troops were deployed to the valley. Rashtriya Rifles and other ground units have been told to prepare for attempts of infiltration by terrorists pushed into the Kashmir valley by Pakistan.
This occurred in the context of heightened tensions within the context of the Khulbhushan Jadev case:
Sources: Pakistan has been asked yesterday to provide unimpeded consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, in an environment free from the fear of intimidation and reprisal, in the light of the orders of the ICJ. Their response in now awaited pic.twitter.com/9S58vJ4ZUS— ANI (@ANI) August 2, 2019
ANI tweeted confirmation on the Government order putting armed forces on high alert:
Srinagar: In view of the ongoing situation in Kashmir valley, Government has put the Air Force and the Army on high operational alert. https://t.co/pt36FNkC3g— ANI (@ANI) August 2, 2019
Reacting to this, former J&K CM Omar Abdullah has taken to Twitter to raise some pertinent questions about the situation.
What “on going situation” in Kashmir would require the army AND the Air Force to be put on alert? This isn’t about 35A or delimitation. This sort of alert, if actually issued, would be about something very different. https://t.co/FTYG36F6aD— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) August 2, 2019
Interestingly, this came a day after Omar Abdullah paid a visit to PM Modi:
The Ministry of Home Affairs issued a statement, saying:
MHA Sources on reports of additional troops being deployed in Jammu & Kashmir: 100 companies had been ordered for deployment about a week ago, which are in the process of reaching their destinations. This has apparently led to speculations of induction of additional forces. pic.twitter.com/sg1LDlvWhE— ANI (@ANI) August 2, 2019
While this answers the question on whether forces were deployed today, it side-steps the question on armed forces being put on high alert.
In tandem with the Central government, the J&K government also took measures to issue security advisories of its own, concentrated on the Amarnath Yatra route.
J&K govt has issued security advisory for #AmarnathYatra pilgrims&tourists asking them to curtail their stay in the Valley and to take necessary measures to return as soon as possible. Amarnath Yatra from Jammu route is suspended till August 4, due to inclement weather.(file pic) pic.twitter.com/d8RtpZY481— ANI (@ANI) August 2, 2019
J&K govt issues security advisory in the interest of #AmarnathYatra pilgrims and tourists, "that they may curtail their stay in the Valley immediately and take necessary measures to return as soon as possible", keeping in view the latest intelligence inputs of terror threats. pic.twitter.com/CzCk6FnMQ6— ANI (@ANI) August 2, 2019
Omar Abdullah reacted strongly to this as well:
Seriously? You think an official order telling tourists to leave immediately will not cause them to run from the valley as fast as they can? Which tourist will hang around after seeing this order. The airport & highway will be choked with people leaving. https://t.co/wzVllSqVpk— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) August 2, 2019
Although this unprecedented order would seem to suggest a genuine fear of a massive terror strike directed at Amarnath ji yatris or/and tourists this will do nothing to dampen the sense of fear & foreboding that prevails in the valley at the moment. https://t.co/qF99X0nAx6— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) August 2, 2019
While things were still unclear about a terror threat directed at Amarnath yatris, the Director General of Police (Jammu and Kashmir), Dilbag Singh, sat down to meet with the press and update them on the actual situation.
At the press conference, he said:
Dilbag Singh, DG JK Police on being asked about the increase in troop numbers in Jammu & Kashmir: We had been into a number of activities since last few months. Our troops that have been deployed did not get a chance to relax for a while. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/ruqdLasl9J— ANI (@ANI) August 2, 2019
DG JK Police:We're getting inputs that violence levels are likely to be increased by militants. So, we've tried to strengthen grid on ground.Also,we've been told that troops must get time to relax.This is time for turnover.But grid will be in as much active form as required.(2/2) https://t.co/hEmhrcpoPg— ANI (@ANI) August 2, 2019
That being said, it seems that some infiltration attempts have already taken place, and were thwarted:
Chinar Corps Commander Lt General K J S Dhillon in Srinagar: Situation on the LoC is under control and very much peaceful. Infiltration bids from Pakistan side are being successfully thwarted. pic.twitter.com/83hEFVHi4f— ANI (@ANI) August 2, 2019
However, news is emerging that certain IEDs were discovered as a part of a terror cache.
Chinar Corps Commander Lt General K J S Dhillon in Srinagar: A Pakistan Army landmine has also been recovered from one of the caches of terrorists. This clearly indicates that Pakistan Army is involved in terrorism in Kashmir, this will not be tolerated. pic.twitter.com/p6vNcORypQ— ANI (@ANI) August 2, 2019
Lt General KJS Dhillon: Type of IEDs we are examining and the IED expert terrorists we are capturing and eliminating point to the fact that Pakistan is trying to disrupt peace in Kashmir. We assure 'awaam' of Kashmir that no one will be allowed to disrupt peace. https://t.co/RUXmnqyV0B— ANI (@ANI) August 2, 2019
And finally, it was made clear that the terror cache was discovered along the Amarnath pilgrimage route:
Chinar Corps Commander Lt General K J S Dhillon in Srinagar: An M-24 American sniper rifle with a telescope was also recovered from a terror cache along Shri Amarnath ji route pic.twitter.com/VLmkmN8iAd— ANI (@ANI) August 2, 2019
Despite having recovered this cache of weapons, however, it seems that the valley, and the pilgrimage route, is still under threat: