The 2019 Amarnath Yatra recently commenced in the Kashmir Valley witnessing the deployment of a massive contingent of the Indian Security Forces.
The Amarnath Yatra this time in 2019 is believed to have drastically affected the lives of the local people due to the excessive deployment of the troops. Despite the 46-day Amarnath Yatra boosting the sluggish economy and tourism sector in the highly volatile region, people have complained of suppression.
The civilian traffic along the Kashmir stretch of the highway has been blocked at the time of movement of the Amarnath Yatra pilgrims. The connecting railway lines between the cities of Qazigund and Banihal have been suspended owing its location as a crucial area connecting the Valley with Chenab.
Amarnath Yatra 2019
The locals are not too pleased by the incessant hassles that have plagued the region due to the 2019 Amarnath Yatra. The blockade has severely inconvenienced the people; the situation is similar for even the approach roads that make it to the highway and other routes that lead to the cave are all blocked.
The residents are confined to their homes for most parts as movement is heavily restricted in the region. The businesses have taken a hit as people in the area are always kept on the move and seldom allowed to wait to shop. There have reportedly been instances where University students were stopped, de-boarded and frisked in many parts of Kashmir.
The political leaders and the civil society members have raised concerns over the matter suggesting that the separate instances of holding back the people of Kashmir to go about their normal life were meddlesome, unnecessary and uncalled for.
The leaders and members of society have found the actions of the government demeaning and no particular value. Shehla Rasheed has commented on the actions of the central government, calling them “bizarre” and “unacceptable”. Many locals have also commented on the steps taken by the government against the natives of the state; the actions not only antagonise but also dehumanise the populous of Kashmir.
Waheed Parra, youth leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said, “The 2019 Amarnath Yatra has been one of the confidence-building measures. It should take place the way it used to. The way the administration is handling it, locals are feeling segregated.” The previous attack on the pilgrims occurred on July 10, 2017, near Anantnag killing around 12 people. The government sticks to its claim of having increased armed personnel only for the security of the pilgrims.