Airport witnesses entropy as fear stricken pilgrims want to go home

SRINAGAR, AUGUST 03 : A massive rush of passengers, mostly Amarnath yatris and tourists, is being witnessed at the Srinagar airport after the government asked them to leave Kashmir immediately in view of prevailing “security threats.”

Panic-stricken yatris and tourists were seen jostling and breaking queues outside the airport to take the first flight home.

“There are no special flights. Both yatris and tourists will go in normal private flights scheduled for Saturday,” said a senior security officer at the airport.

In view of the prevailing situation in Kashmir, Air India has decided to give full fee waiver on rescheduling or cancellation of its flights to and from Srinagar till August 15. Some other private airlines are also offering such concessions.

The state government on Friday asked Amarnath yatris and tourists to immediately make necessary arrangements to cut short their stay in the Valley and return as soon as possible in the wake of intelligence inputs of “specific terror threats” to the pilgrimage.

However, this move has triggered panic in the valley, with local politicians seeing it as a move aimed at changing the demography and Muslim majority character of Jammu and Kashmir.

The leaders fear widespread violence in the state in case Article 35A and Article 370, which provide special status to Jammu and Kashmir in the Indian Union is scrapped down.

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