Orders by J&K govt to stock LPG, vacate schools for troops spark fear in Kashmir

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Shafaqna Pakistan: The order to stock LPG cylinders and vacate school buildings for armed forces in the Ganderbal district—that connects Kargil with Kashmir—has created anxiety among people in Kashmir. Last year, the government had issued similar orders before the revocation of Article 370.

The government had issued similar orders before the IAF strikes on Jaish-e-Muhammad complex at Balakot in Pakistan on February 26. The government then ordered hospitals to stock medicine and cancel the leaves of all the staff.

The fresh orders for stocking LPG and vacating of school buildings for troops have come amid looming fears of war between India and China due to Chinese incursion into In Indian territory in Ladakh.

The order to stock sufficient supplies of LPG in Kashmir has been called a “most urgent matter” due to “closure of the National Highway on account of landslides”.

The order issued by the Director of the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumers said the oil companies should make adequate stocks of LPG that can last up to two months at bottling plants as well as godowns.

This comes at a time when the threat of closure of the Srinagar-Jammu highway is less likely due to fair weather; the stocking of essential supplies happens mostly before winters. Also, this year the Amarnath yatra will be a low-key affair unlike in the past when convoys of yatris move from Jammu to Kashmir daily.

In another order, the Superintendent of Police, Ganderbal, has requested 16 educational institutes in the district, including ITI buildings, middle and higher secondary schools be vacated.

“In view of the Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra-2020, these educational centres will be made available for the accommodation of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) companies,” the order reads.

The two orders have created fear in Kashmir that something unpleasant is likely to happen.

India and Chinese troops are locked in an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation in several areas in Ladakh like Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Depsang after Chinese troops encroached onto the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Around 20 Indian soldiers and several Chinese troops died in a fatal clash at Galwan valley after Indian troops urged Chinese personnel to return to their side of the LAC as per the agreement between the senior army commanders of the two sides in June.

The Chinese troops however backtracked and attacked Indian soldiers when they went to remove a Chinese tent on the Indian side of the LAC a few days after the agreement between the two sides.

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