Govt Picks Up Terror Chatter, Sounds High Alert For Amarnath Yatra10 July 2010
Times of India
New Delhi: With intelligence inputs indicating that militants may use the unrest in the Kashmir valley to target pilgrims who are bound for the two-month-long Amarnath Yatra, the Centre has issued a high alert even as National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and home minister P Chidambaram on Saturday. The alert comes following intercepts of several conversations between militants operating in J&K and across the border. Farooq Abdullah's meeting with the PM and Chidambaram comes amid speculation that the former was trying to lobby for another term as chief minister in the troubled border state. However, the Congress dismissed the suggestions. Party spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed denied any information on the issue. 'I have no information on the deliberation he had with them. He is a senior NC leader and a Union minister. It could have been to discuss the situation in Kashmir. Nothing much should be read into it. Farooq Abdullah had played a major role to make Omar Abdullah the chief minister,' Ahmed said. Omar has convened an all-party meeting in Srinagar on Monday to discuss the present law and order situation. In fact, the Congress went a step ahead to back the J&K government's handling of the situation, saying all stakeholders must walk the 'extra mile' to restore normalcy there. 'It's a tough situation and the coalition government is doing whatever it can to bring normalcy there. Obviously, this state of turmoil impacts governance,' Manish Tewari, party spokesperson said. Meanwhile, official sources said that the attention of the security forces was concentrated on the prevailing unrest in the Valley. 'We have asked everyone to be on high alert,' an official said. So far, around 2.90 lakh pilgrims have registered for the pilgrimage to the Amarnath shrine. The Yatra will conclude on August 25.