Geelani welcomes Amarnath pilgrims, says threat rumours manufactured

SRINAGAR: Senior separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani has welcomed Amarnath Yatra pilgrims, saying they are guests as usual. He has denounced rumours of “terror threat” saying this was aimed at “Maligning and discrediting” Kashmir’s poetical struggle.

“It is a misinformation campaign launched by India’s biased media,” Geelani said in a statement on Sunday. “Amarnath is an age old tradition and Kashmiri have always been friendly and generous with the guests.”

“Terror threat to the upcoming yatra is a blatant lie aimed at maligning the Kashmir movement,” Geelani said. “Kashmir is not against any religion or its followers. They are pursuing a legitimate struggle for their fundamental rights.” He said India’s fanatical forces are attempting giving a bad name to Kashmir’s just struggle and are using negative propaganda.

Geelani asked people to educate Amarnath pilgrims about the ongoing political struggle while continuing with the age-old tradition of providing best hospitality to pilgrims.  He said teh people welcomed them with open arms at the peak of unrest in 2008, 2010 and 2016. “It is our age-old tradition and in future also we will follow this tradition with same spirit and receive these Yatris as our revered guests,” Geelani said.

Amarnath yatra is commencing on June 29 and will conclude on August 7. Security apparatus has taken a series of measures to make it safe by inducting nearly 30,000 security men for security of pilgrims and the tracks.

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