As Amarnath Yatra begins amid tight security, Hizbul Mujahideen’s message to pilgrims – ‘You are guests, will never attack’

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New Delhi | Updated: June 27, 2018 3:31:15 PM

Amarnath Yatra: Terror group Hizbul Mujahideen has released an audio message which says pilgrims are “our guests” and they will not target them during the two-month- long pilgrimage.

Amarnath Temple, Yatra, Jammu and Kashmir, Hizbul Mujahideen, Amarnath Yatra news, Amarnath yatra security, Amarnath latest newsA paramilitary soldier stands guard as the first batch of pilgrims leaves for Amarnath Yatra, in Jammu on Wednesday. (PTI Photo)

Terror group Hizbul Mujahideen has purportedly released an audio message which says Amarnath Yatra pilgrims are “our guests” and they will not target them during the two-month- long pilgrimage that kicked off amid a tight cover of security today. According to media reports, the 15-minute long audio clip was believed to be released by Riyaz Ahmad Naikoo, operational commander of the banned outfit, two days ago. Riyaz says that Hindu pilgrims can travel to the holy cave shrine of Lord Shiva without security.

“You don’t need any security as you are our guests,’’ Riyaz said in his audio message which is being circulated on social media.

Riyaz said that J&K DGP SP Vaid’s recent statement in which he said that security has been beefed-up throughout the route of the yatra as terror groups are planning to target the pilgrims, is not true. The terrorist added that they have no plan to attack the pilgrims coming to Kashmir to visit the shrine.

“This is not true. We don’t have any plan to attack Amarnath Yatra and will never attack them,’’ the terrorist said. “They (pilgrims) are coming here to fulfil their religious obligations. We have never attacked the Amarnath Yatra in the past as our fight is not with the yatris.”

Riyaz also said that Kashmiri Pandits can return to the Valley but they are opposed to establishing separate colonies for them.

The Hizbul terrorist said that their “fight is with those people who are committing atrocities on our people” and those who “force us to pick up the guns”.

The annual yatra to the Amarnath cave shrine of Lord Shiva began today. Two batches of 2,995 pilgrims began their journey amidst tight security. The government has deployed heavy security officials along the route of the pilgrimage to ensure the security of the yatris.

The pilgrimage will culminate on August 26.

The Amarnath Yatra fell under the shadow of terror last year when a group of pilgrims came under attack from terrorists on Baltal-Jammu route on their way back. Eight people, mostly from Gujarat, died in the attack.

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