Srinagar, June 26: A new audio, purportedly released by Hizbul Mujahideen, has surfaced here assuring Amarnath pilgrims they have nothing to fear as long as they visit Kashmir only to fulfil their religious duties.
The voice is purportedly that of Riyaz Naikoo, the commander of the terror group. But the authenticity of the voice clip could not be confirmed.
The 15-minute clip, which circulated on WhatsApp, carried Naikoo's picture. It welcomed Kashmiri Pandits back to their ancestral homes but warned against any plan to set up separate settlements for them in the Valley.
"Our fight is only against India's occupation of Jammu and Kashmir. We have nothing against the people of India or Amarnath pilgrims who come here for religious reasons. However, they should not connect the pilgrimage to the political issue of Kashmir," Naikoo said.
The Hizb commander said the pilgrims need not to worry about their safety and they can visit Kashmir without security.
"We have hundreds of thousands of Biharis (non locals) who come to Kashmir as labourers or beggars and are found in every nook and corner of the Valley. Has there been any instance of them being harassed in so many years? Their girls and young women can be seen begging but no one has been ever touched," he said.