Kashmir in hysteria, Panic grips Valley, locals throng ATM’s, Petrol Pumps

A series of alarming official orders that talked of an upcoming crisis situation, additional troop deployment and an advisory to tourists and yatris to immediately leave the Kashmir valley has left the residents in panic and guessing.

The orders, which got leaked over the past week, have slowly built a pressure cooker situation in the Valley and left the people here apprehensive about a possible unrest. The panic deepened on Friday afternoon when the state government issued a security advisory asking tourists and Amarnath pilgrims to leave the Valley “as soon as possible”.

The order created panic and chaos in the region as rumours had already gripped that the Central government is planning to abrogate Article 35A, a special law which limits the land rights in the region to state subjects only.

“We have been witnessing this chaos for the past 70 years,” an elderly man standing in queue outside an ATM here said. The queues outside the ATMs in the city only lengthened through the day as hundreds of residents made panic withdrawals in apprehension that situation may turn ugly.

The petrol stations also witnessed huge crowds as residents rushed to buy reserves for their cars. “There is so much chaos and no one knows what will happen next. I was waiting in a queue for petrol for one hour but when there was chaos more I left without getting petrol,” a Srinagar resident said.