SRINAGAR Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik Sunday said the people of Kashmir should bear the restrictions on civilian traffic on a stretch of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway for the Amarnath Yatra as it was a matter of pilgrims’ security.
He was visiting the ‘yatri niwas’ at Panthachowk here to take stock of the arrangements for the pilgrims.
“This is being done for their (yatris) security and the people should bear it. In our state, in western Uttar Pradesh, when Kanwar yatra starts, no vehicle plies on the highway for a month and no one complains,” Malik told reporters here.
“Here, traffic is stopped for two hours and a hue and cry is being raised… People know what has happened on the highway,” he said, referring to the February 14 attack on the highway at Lethpora in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
Asked about tourism players’ concern that the restrictions were affecting tourism in the valley, Malik said there was no impact on it.
“There is no impact on tourism. Gulmarg is full. People have to be stopped (from going) there, there is no place,” he said.
The governor said the pilgrims, with whom he interacted, were happy and satisfied about the arrangements for the annual yatra which began on July 1.
“My satisfaction does not matter. The people here are satisfied. They are very happy and satisfied about the security and other arrangements for the yatra,” he said.
Malik said the pilgrimage would not have been possible without the support of Muslims of the valley.
“The people of Kashmir conduct the yatra and the majority areas are of Muslims without whom the yatra is not possible… the people think of the yatra as their own and make it successful every time,” he said.