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IAF C-17s to airlift Amarnath Yatra pilgrims on J K govt request

ANI | Updated: Aug 03, 2019 15:53 IST

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Aug 3 (ANI): The Jammu and Kashmir government has requested the Indian Air Force to airlift the Amarnath Yatra pilgrims out of the Kashmir valley to places such as Jammu, Pathankot or Delhi from where they can go back home.

"A request has been received from the state administration for the IAF to carry the pilgrims out of the Kashmir valley in their C-17 transport. The first such sortie of the C-17s is likely to fly out of the Kashmir valley in a couple of hours," government sources told ANI.

The C-17s are already operating to rush in paramilitary troops from different parts of the country for precautionary deployment in the valley.

The C-17 Globemaster can airlift around 230 passengers in one go and takes less time than the Russian Ilyushin-76 to fly between different places.

The Jammu and Kashmir government has issued an advisory to the Amarnath Yatra pilgrims to curtail their pilgrimage and move out of the state at the earliest possible.

The steps have been taken in view of attempts made by the Pakistan-based terrorist groups including the Jaish-e-Mohammed to carry out strikes against the Pilgrims and security forces deployed in the state.
The Government's decision to curtail the ongoing Amarnath Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir came after a series of intelligence inputs were received by security agencies warning of multiple terror attacks by Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammad.
These plots were in their final stages of planning before crucial intelligence inputs were received by the Indian security establishment that resulted in the quick mobilization of troops for counter-insurgency operations.
According to latest reports, three JeM operatives were positioned in terror launch pads in the Nezapir sector of PoK, opposite the Indian post of Shahpur sector in Poonch.
The report also suggested that an IED attack was being planned on convoys of security forces along the Srinagar-Baramulla-Uri National highway in the near future with materials to fabricate the IED already smuggled into the Valley.
On Friday evening and early on Saturday, leaders across the political spectrum in Kashmir met with Governor Satyapal Malik to raise the concern of mass hysteria in the state over the recent troop induction.
Governor Malik also requested political leaders to ask their supporters to maintain calm and not believe in exaggerated and unfounded rumours that had begun circulating on social media. (ANI)