There are confirmed intelligence reports that terrorists backed by the Pakistan Army are trying to disrupt the Amarnath Yatra, the army said today, revealing that a landmine and a sniper rifle were found on the route of the pilgrimage.
“In the last three-four days, there were confirmed intelligence reports that terrorists backed by Pakistan and its army is trying to disrupt Amarnath Yatra and based on that a thorough search was conducted. We had major successes in these searches,” said Chinar Corps Commander Lt General KJS Dhillon.
Among the Army’s finds were a landmine with Pakistan ordnance factory markings and an M-24 American sniper rifle with a telescopic sight, the officer said. The yatra route was being “sanitised for three days”, he disclosed.
The Army and police held a joint press conference against the backdrop of reports of an increased presence of troops in Jammu and Kashmir.
Lt General Dhillon said “direct involvement of the Pakistan Army including mines and ammunition had been recovered.”
According to the officer, there was a “massive threat of IEDs or crude bombs” and bombs had been found in searches along the Amarnath Yatra route.
“The searches are still going on. The Pakistan Army is desperate to disrupt peace. This will not be allowed to happen. No one can be allowed to disrupt the peace,” said Lt General Dhillon.
Over the past few days, the movement of troops to the state, where central paramilitary personnel are being airdropped in sorties, has fuelled speculation about security threats.
A 100-company or 10,000 personnel of central forces were ordered for the state about a week ago and they were in the process of reaching their posts. The reports of a surge in troop deployment coincided with inputs that the centre is on high alert for August 15 Independence Day celebrations, when terror groups planning attacks in India are active.