Conflict

Amarnath Yatris our guests, we are at war with Indian state, not its people, says Hizb commander Riyaz Naikoo

‘We are fighting for our rights and our freedom’

Srinagar: Top Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander, Riyaz Naikoo on Tuesday said that Amarnath Yatris were ‘guests and that the reports suggesting that militants were planning to attack them were baseless’.

“Amarnath Yatra is not our target. They come here to perform their religious rituals. They (yatris) are our guests,” said Riyaz Naikoo, Field Operational Commander, in an audio clip released on social media.

He termed as baseless the statement of DGP SP Vaid in which he had said that militants were planning to attack Amarnath Yatra, beginning tomorrow.

“We have never attacked Amarnath yatra. We are not at war with the yatris,” said Naikoo, adding that they were at war with those suppressing them.

“We are at war with those who forced us to pick up gun. We are fighting for our rights and our freedom,” he said.

Naikoo said that their war was with the Indian state and not with Indian people.

The first batch of yatris for the two month long Amarnath Yatra will leave from Jammu tomorrow for their onward journey to the shrine located in Himalayas at a height of 13,500 feet.  The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has decided to directly monitor the security arrangements along the route.

Sources in the MHA said, that while the government in the state has chalked out a foolproof strategy to ensure incident free and peaceful pilgrimage, the MHA has decided not to leave the entire responsibility of security on the Jammu and Kashmir Government.

Governor N.N. Vohra, Chairman of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, while reviewing the ongoing Advance Registration of Yatris was informed that, 2,11,994 pilgrims had secured Advance Registration through the designated Bank branches, Group Registration Facility and through booking of helicopter tickets for the Yatra.

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