Hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Geelani on Wednesday said the terror threat to the upcoming Amarnath yatra is "a calculated move aimed at maligning and discrediting the political struggle of Kashmir".
"No such threat exists either from people or militants. The Centre is trying to mislead its people and the international community. It is highly deplorable," said Geelani.
Geelani's statement came on a day when the local newspapers reported about the army's "Operation Shiva", a multi-pronged and multi-layered security arrangements, launched to provide security to intending pilgrims following threats from militants. The 83-year-old separatist leader alleged that the main objective of the 'Operation Shiva' is "to handover the Yatra route to the armed forces."
Geelani said the Amarnath yatra is being conducted for decades and the people here have treated the yatris with unique hospitality. He demanded that the yatra should be handover the to the local Pandits. "The pilgrimage should be run on the lines of Gangotri pilgrimage and the number of visiting yatris be limited to save the fragile atmosphere."