Hizbul Head Assures Amarnath Yatris of Safety in Purported Audio

“We have nothing against the people of India or Amarnath pilgrims who come here for religious reasons”.

1 min read
File image of pilgrims on Amarnath Yatra journey to the holy cave of Amarnath in Jammu and Kashmir, dated 2 July, 2016.

An audio clip about the Amarnath yatra, purported to have been released by the Hizbul Mujahideen, has been making the rounds on social media ahead of the start of the annual pilgrimage on 27 June.

In the 15-minute-long clip, a voice believed to be that of Riyaz Naikoo, the commander of the terror group, can be heard welcoming the pilgrims as well as Kashmiri Pandits.

"Our fight is only against India's occupation of Jammu and Kashmir. We have nothing against the people of India or Amarnath pilgrims who come here for religious reasons. However, they should not connect the pilgrimage to the political issue of Kashmir," the voice can be heard saying.

The voice also says the pilgrims need not to worry about their safety and they can visit Kashmir without security.

The Quint could not verify the authenticity of the clip, that was circulated on WhatsApp accompanied with an image of Naikoo.

In the clip, the voice welcomes Kashmiri Pandits back to their ancestral homes but warns against any plan to set up separate settlements for them in the Valley.

Security has been tightened for this year’s edition of the annual pilgrimage, following the terror attack on the pilgrimage last year, which claimed eight lives.

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