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Indian Air Force’s C-17s to be put in use to airlift Amarnath pilgrims on Jammu and Kashmir govt’s request

Responding to the Jammu and Kashmir government’s request, the Indian Air Force has agreed to lend its Boeing C-17 transport aircraft to evacuate the pilgrims from the Valley.

After the Jammu and Kashmir government had issued an advisory for the Amarnath pilgrims to stall their journey and return back to their homes, today the government had requested the Indian Air Force to enable them in airlifting the Amarnath pilgrims to the places such as Jammu, Pathankot and Delhi from where they can return to their home.

Responding to the Jammu and Kashmir government’s request, the Indian Air Force has agreed to lend its Boeing C-17 transport aircraft to evacuate the pilgrims from the Valley. “A request was placed by the state government to the Indian Air Force to lift the stranded pilgrims out of the valley. The first batch of C-17s are likely to fly out of the Kashmir Valley in a couple of hours,” ANI quoted government sources told.

The C-17 is a transport aircraft with the capacity of carrying 230 passengers in one go and is faster than Russian made Ilyushin-76 travel between different places. Right now, C-17s are also being used by the Armed Forces to transport their Armed personnel to various locations in the state of Jammu of Kashmir.

The government had earlier issued an advisory asking the pilgrims and tourists in the Valley to curtail their visit and return back to their homes as soon as possible. The advisory was issued against the backdrop of intel reports suggesting a heightened possibility of terror attacks on the pilgrims schemed by terrorists belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad terror outfits.

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In a joint press conference convened yesterday, Chinar Corps Lt General KJS Dhillon disclosed recovery of an American made M-24 sniper rifle and Pakistani made IEDs retrieved from many places in the Valley. The recovery of these armaments once again prove the connivance of Pakistan’s Armed Forces in enabling the terrorists to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir to carry out their nefarious activities.

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