Security personnel leave after an encounter with militants on the outskirts of Srinagar | S Irfan/PTI
Security personnel leave after an encounter with militants on the outskirts of Srinagar | S Irfan | PTI
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New Delhi: The Modi government has no immediate plans to remove the controversial constitutional provision of Article 35A in Jammu and Kashmir, let alone consider splitting the troubled Himalayan state into three, government sources told ThePrint Saturday.

The sources also denied the speculation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi could unfurl the national flag at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk on Independence Day. The PM will unfurl the flag and deliver a speech at the Red Fort in the national capital, according to tradition.

However, plans are afoot to unfurl the tricolour in every district of Jammu and Kashmir, they said.

Amid panic in the Kashmir Valley and wild speculation on social media following new deployment of security forces in the region, government sources said that security is being tightened in the state in the wake of “credible inputs” that Pakistan-backed terrorists were planning a major terrorist attack on Amarnath Yatra pilgrims.

On Friday, tourists in the state, including pilgrims, were asked to return as the Modi government raised alert levels and stepped up security in the state.

The sources also disputed the charge that several thousands of additional personnel from the Central Armed Police Forces – the CRPF, the BSF and the SSB – have been brought into the state and more are on the way.

“There are no additional security personnel that are being brought in as far as figures being speculated in the social media are concerned. Elections are to be held in the state and there is a rollover, meaning new personnel are being brought into the state to replace some of the existing ones,” said a source in the security establishment.

“Also, in wake of the security alert, some additional personnel have been brought in for overall searches and for deployment before the Independence Day celebrations,” added the source.

While the government has confirmed that around 10,000 security personnel have been moved to the state, speculative numbers have ranged from 20,000 to 40,000.


Also read: ‘Wonderful meal, warm chat’: India, Pakistan envoys bond in Islamabad amid Kashmir tension


Fear in Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir has been gripped by fear amid rumours that the Modi government is planning to remove Article 35A, a provision that gives special privileges to residents of the state.

BJP’s state as well as national leadership has been pushing for the removal of the constitutional provision.

Trifurcation of the state to make Kashmir and Ladakh Union Territories is another rumour that has caught on in the past few days.

“No such move is being planned,” a high ranking source in Kashmir said.

Safety of Amarnath pilgrims a concern

Multiple sources in the defence and security establishment told ThePrint that the safety of Amarnath Yatra pilgrims became a concern in the wake of intelligence inputs.

The sources said that any untoward incident targeting the pilgrims will have a ripple effect across the country, something the Modi government can ill afford.

“Hence, a decision was taken to cancel the yatra and ask the yatris to go back,” said a third source.

Over the last two weeks, several top officials from Delhi have visited Jammu and Kashmir, including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat.

Based on the situation on the ground, the government took the decision to tighten security measures and carry out intense searches, especially along the routes of the yatra.

The searches, before and during the yatra, led to the recovery of a US-made sniper rifle, an anti-personnel mine with a markings of Pakistan Ordnance Factory, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), IED container, IED circuit board, IED initiating mechanism and a remote control device.


Also readMilitants in Kashmir using new IED modules to target Amarnath pilgrims & security forces


 

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5 Comments Share Your Views

5 COMMENTS

  1. Now we understand that either the publisher or their sources who gave the above information is fake.
    #Article370revoke
    #KashmirBifurcation
    #KashmirInIndia

  2. If this news is True,then sedation cases should be charged against every individual and organisation that published and propagated the item of 370 and 35A.

  3. -One important purpose of any law anywhere is to serve the greater good of the country first.

    -As J&K special status temporarily given post accession has become an impediment to security, peace and economic environment of the state and to the greater good of the country it must be removed. Manner of its removal is not very relevant, relevant is changes are made to completely integrate the state removing all possible future issues that can become problems for the country if possible.

    -One explicit objective must remain at all to alter demographics by settling land less people from various different states into J&K specifically the K . As state must be made to feel like any other state and not special.

    (*Look at such examples from our neighborhood are China settling Han people from east China into Xinjiang to alter demographics and bring new skills in efforts to help Ugier population become more Chinese than fester unique identity, they do via re-education /Pakis settling ex-army people into pok)

    -All picking up arms or any weapons must be exterminated and their supporters re-educated till they prefer to see differently. Current local leaders can lead to help their fellow citizens thrive in changing environment and prosper or find themselves on the poor side in a changed future.

  4. 1. One can understand why politicians of Jammu & Kashmir and more particularly, former chief minister and PDP chief Ms Mehbooba Mufti are upset about any suggestion with regard to deletion of Article 35A of the Constitution of India. 2. In this context I wish to say that not one politician from Jammu and Kashmir, including former chief ministers like Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Ms Mehbooba Mufti, has a clear idea as to how to solve the Kashmir problem (or issue whatever one calls it). 3. My view is that Ms Mehbooba Mufti would benefit from undertaking a critical self-examination of her party’s political philosophy. Further, to be relevant in today’s scenario, if she and other politicians of the Kashmir valley would do well if they accept a few ground realities. First reality is that Kashmir is and will forever remain part of the Indian Union. Second reality is that there cannot be end to violence in Kashmir until Pakistan takes decisive and stern steps to eliminate terror activities of terror groups, especially of LeT, JuD, JeM, etc. Is it not a fact that these terror groups are funded by Pakistan’s intelligence wing, ISI? 3. If Ms Mehbooba Mufti and other politicians of Kashmir wish to end bloodshed in the Kashmir valley, they must support every effort to minimize impact of the Pakistan funded terror activities. Therefore, I believe that it is for politicians, separatists & people of the Kashmir valley to decide what they wish to do: To wholeheartedly support our Army to so that terrorism is wiped out from Kashmir or to join those who provide support to terrorists and get marginalized by the terrorists and terrorists’ supporters.

  5. Looking ahead – there is too much pain in Kashmir’s past – this would be a good time to lay to rest the ghosts of Article 370 / 35 A, to not reopen the sequence of events by which the state became part of India. This one small state should not be coveted as a political prize. There is a lot of healing to be done. PM PVNR had said, Sky is the limit. Start a dialogue. Ideally, one with Pakistan as well.

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