National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Saturday asked Centre to come forward and assure people of Kashmir that there is nothing to worry about as the state is rocked by rumours and uncertainty over the current situation.
"The governor is not the final word on Jammu and Kashmir. The final word on Jammu and Kashmir is the Government of India. Therefore, more than what the governor tells us publicly, I definitely would like to hear from the Government of India publicly that there is nothing people have to worry about," the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said after meeting governor Satya Pal Malik at Raj Bhavan in Srinagar.
Omar also said that Governor has assured him that so far no preparation has been made for any announcement regarding rumours on Article 35A, 370, delimitation and trifurcation.
"We told the governor that there are rumours about 35A, 370, delimitation and even trifurcation, the governor assured us that in all these issues, no preparation is being made for any announcement," he asked.
Expressing his worry about the panic situation that had developed in Kashmir since Friday, Omar said, "We wanted to know about the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir. When we ask officials, they say something is happening but nobody knows what is actually happening."
Omar also demanded that the Centre give a statement in Parliament on Monday assuring people that there is no need to be afraid from the ongoing confusion in Jammu and Kashmir and explain the reason behind government's advice to tourists and Amarnath pilgrims to curtail their stay in the Valley "immediately" in view of a possible terrorist attack.
"On Monday, when Parliament starts functioning, Centre should give a statement on what was the need for the order to end yatra and evacuate tourists. We want to hear it from the Parliament that there is no need for people to be afraid," he said.
A statement released by the Raj Bhavan in Srinagar said that the governor informed a National Conference that the security situation has developed in a manner which required immediate action.
"There were credible inputs which were available to the security agencies regarding terrorist attacks on the Amarnath Yatra. There has been intensified shelling on the LoC by Pakistan which was responded to effectively by the army," the governor told the delegation.
He said that a press conference was addressed by the army and the state police in which they briefed the media about how they foiled terror groups' sinister plans and also displayed weapons and ammunition they seized.
"The seriousness of the threat required immediate action," the governor said.
Malik also said that the state "has no knowledge of any changes to constitutional provisions" and hence no panic should be created by unnecessarily linking this security matters with all kinds of other issues.
"A pure security measure is being mixed up with issues with which it has no connection. That is the cause of the panic," he told the delegation.
It is in this security context that the government had issued an advisory on Friday asking yatris and tourists to return as soon as possible, he said.
"These are a vulnerable group of people who do not know the area and are extremely vulnerable to a terrorist or a fidayeen attack. It is the responsibility of the state to provide security to all its citizens. Therefore, as a precautionary measure, yatris and tourists have been asked to return. This is to ensure that no terrorist attack takes place on them," the governor said.
The delegation led by Abdullah apprised the governor about the situation in the Kashmir valley after the government advisory asking Amarnath Yatris and tourists to return as soon as possible.
They also mentioned about the panic created by people buying essential commodities hurriedly.
The governor again said that the security to its citizens has to be provided by the state even at some inconvenience, which is being done.
The governor requested the political leaders to ask their supporters to maintain calm and not believe exaggerated and unfounded rumours being circulated all around.
On Friday, a delegation including People's Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti, President of Jammu and KashmirPolitical Movement Dr Shah Faesal, People's Conference leaders Sajjad Lone and Imran Raza Ansari expressed concerns about the 'panic situation' in the Valley created by the developments during the day including the advisory issued by the government.
However, Malik informed the delegation that there were serious and credible inputs which were available to the security agencies regarding terrorist attacks on the Amarnath Yatra and it is the responsibility of the state to provide security to all its citizens. Therefore, as a precautionary measure, Yatris and tourists have been asked to return.
The governor also requested the political leaders to ask their supporters not to mix up matters, to maintain calm and not believe exaggerated rumours being circulated all around.
Srinagar-based Chinar Corps commander Lt Gen KJS Dhillon on Friday said, "In the last three to four days, we got confirmed intel reports that terrorists are trying to disrupt the Amarnath Yatra. A thorough search was carried out on the routes by a combined team of the Army, CRPF and Jammu and Kashmir Police."
The Union home ministry had ordered the deployment of additional 100 companies of central paramilitary forces in the state. One company comprises around 100 personnel. Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft were also pressed into service to induct the security troops in Valley.