June 2020 News

'Stock Up LPG' Order In Kashmir Creates Panic. Official Says 'For Winter'

28 June 2020
Nazir Masoodi

Srinagar: The authorities in Jammu and Kashmir have issued two orders asking oil companies to stock up LPG cylinders to last at least two months in Kashmir valley and requisition of school buildings for accommodation of security forces in Ganderbal district. The orders came amid growing tension along the Line of Actual Control or LAC in eastern Ladakh and frequent shelling by Pakistan along the Line of Control. The government has cited closure of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway due to 'frequent landslides' as the reason for its contingency plan for stocking up LPG cylinders. Similar orders were issued last year in the wake of the airstrike at a terrorist camp in Balakot and when the centre divided the state into two Union Territories after scrapping special status under the Constitution. However, the government said the directions for stocking up LPG have been wrongly communicated and a clarification will be issued very soon. 'This is a foolish order. My directions were meant for stocking up supplies for the winter. Not for the summer. I will ask the director of consumer affairs to issue necessary clarification,' Farooq Khan, advisor to the Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor, told NDTV. The other order issued by a senior police officer of Ganderbal district has requisitioned 16 educational institutions along the Srinagar-Ladakh highway to accommodate security forces. The police officer cited the security forces are needed for the Amarnath yatra. The government and the shrine board have not taken a final call on the annual pilgrimage this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last month, the Amarnath Shrine Board had decided not to allow the yatra this year due to the pandemic. The order, however, was subsequently withdrawn. Last year, the yatra was stopped on August 2 after the government cited threat of terror attacks. Days later, Amarnath yatra pilgrims and tourists were made to leave Jammu and Kashmir after the centre's move on August 5 to divide the state into two UTs. Former chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted the government orders are creating panic. Government orders are creating panic in Kashmir & unfortunately after all the lies & false assurances last year even if-when the government explains these orders hardly any of us will take the assurances at face value. That said they still need to explain these orders. https:-t.co-16mteocYAO - Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) June 28, 2020 The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries or KCCI said people are panicking because of these orders. 'It's quite understood that highway gets closed in winter due to snowfall. But it's unheard of that the highway will be closed for an extended time and we are being asked to stock up for two months,' KCCI chief Sheikh Ashique said.