MOVEMENT of Army and paramilitary forces’ vehicles was suspended across Kashmir Valley on Sunday following inputs that militants may try to carry out an attack on the second anniversary of the Pulwama car bombing that killed 40 paramilitary personnel two years ago.
This came a day after J&K Police informed the Army and other Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPF) to avoid movement of convoys and isolated vehicles in the valley.
“In view of imminent threat, a strict dry day shall be observed and no convoy movement, repeat no convoy movement, be allowed,” police informed the Army and paramilitary forces. “All administrative valley movement of vehicles should also be restricted across valley. Movement of isolated vehicles, in particular, should be avoided at all costs. No movement of Army/CAPF vehicles on interior routes may be allowed.”
While the movement of Army convoys have been suspended several times in the past, especially during civilian protests or possible militant attacks, it is for the first time that the armed forces were asked to restrict all movement – barring that for anti-militancy operations – in the wake of a militant threat.
Sources in the police said the suspension of movement of security convoys was taken as a precautionary measure after inputs that militants might try to carry out a sensational attack Sunday.
The police also barred former CM Omar Abdullah and his father, parliamentarian Farooq Abdullah, from leaving their houses.
“This is the ‘naya/new J&K’ after Aug 2019. We get locked up in our homes with no explanation. It’s bad enough they’ve locked my father (a sitting MP) & me in our home, they’ve locked my sister & her kids in their home as well,” Omar tweeted on Sunday morning. “Chalo, your new model of democracy means that we are kept in our homes without explanation but on top of that the staff that works in the house aren’t being allowed in and then you are surprised that I’m still angry & bitter.”
Responding to Omar’s allegation, the police said it was done due to security concerns. “Today is 2nd Anniversary of dreaded Lethpora terror incident. There shall be NO ROP [Road Opening Party] on ground. Due to adverse inputs, movement of VIPs/ Protected Persons has been discouraged and all concerned were informed in advance not to plan a tour today,” the J&K Police responded to Omar on Twitter.
Omar, however, said: “I’m not even sure if this is actually a police Twitter handle since it’s not verified but assuming it is – please tell me under which law you have detained me in my home today? You can advise me not to leave my house but you can’t force me to stay in using security as an excuse.”