The Jammu and Kashmir government today expressed apprehension that Pakistan and its sympathisers might try to disrupt the upcoming annual Amarnath Yatra that starts from July 2.
“Pakistan, anti-national elements and terrorists would not like this (Amarnath) yatra to go on smoothly. They will definitely try to create disturbances but we are prepared and have taken all the aspects into consideration. The army and other security agencies have be put on high alert,” Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh told reporters after holding a high-level meeting to review law and order situation in Jammu region.
Singh said the elements behind the desecration of two temples in Jammu city may try to vitiate the atmosphere and cautioned people to remain vigilant as “such incidents could happen in future as well.”
“As the yatra is going to begin and tourist season is on, such elements are trying to vitiate the atmosphere,” Singh said.
He said the government will not allow anybody to communalise the situation to disturb peace in the state. “Various agencies are investigating the matter and the government was monitoring the situation closely,” he said. Asked whether the incidents could have been sponsored from across the border, he said such a thing cannot be ruled out.
“Pakistan, ISI or the people who are working here on their behest may try to fuel communalism in Jammu province as the region comparatively remained peaceful in all these years. However, till now we have not found any such lead. The police is working on it,” he said.
Responding to a question regarding the establishment of separate colonies for Kashmiri Pandits and the ex-servicemen, he said there was nothing “unethical” in setting up of such colonies. “This is a much debated issue and I should say it is no issue at all,” Singh said.
“Some people are trying to create a mountain out of a mole. The colony is not only for KPs but for all displaced people, including KPs, Muslim migrants, Sikhs and others. We cannot push them to the areas where they will have to face the same situation as was seen 25 years ago,” he said, adding the people can go back to their places once they feel it safe.
He said setting up the Sainak colony was in no way illegal as it was exclusively for ex-servicemen from the state. “As far as the Sainik colony is concerned, this demand is not coming from ex-servicemen from other parts of the country. I am told that about 5,000 ex-servicemen are living in Kashmir and if people from media, teachers, bureaucrats can ask colonies, I think it is not illegal or unethical on part of the ex-servicemen to demand such a colony,” he said, however, he was quick to add that the government is yet to identify the land for the colony.