Indian aviation authorities reportedly issued security alerts for at least 19 airports nationwide on Thursday, August 8, ahead of Pakistan's Independence Day on Wednesday, August 14. Security measures have been increased at all civil aviation infrastructures, including deploying more security forces at airports and holding random security checks at least 1 km (0.6 mi) away from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (BOM) in Mumbai and other airports in major cities. The heightened security measures are expected to be in effect for at least a week after Independence Day. Individuals without a valid flight ticket will not be allowed airport access between Saturday, August 10, and Tuesday, August 20.
A heightened security presence, along with an increased wait time at checkpoints, are anticipated at airports nationwide in the coming weeks.
Tensions between Pakistan and India significantly increased after Indian Home Minister Amit Shah proposed to parliament on August 5 that Article 370 in the Constitution, which accords Jammu and Kashmir a special autonomous status, be revoked. He also proposed that Jammu and Kashmir be reorganized as a Union Territory with an Assembly, and Ladakh be a separate Union Territory with no legislature.
Separatists have been fighting Indian rule in Kashmir since 1989. Around 70,000 people have been killed and many more injured in related violence, uprisings, and military crackdowns. Indian security personnel have been conducting frequent security operations and have clashed with suspected militants in recent months. An additional 38,000 Indian security personnel have been deployed into the Kashmir Valley as of August 1 to assist in counterterrorism operations.
Individuals in India are advised to monitor developments to the situation, expect heightened screening and other security measures and longer wait times at airports, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
Some Western governments advise their citizens against travel to parts of Kashmir, notably including areas along the Line of Control (LoC), due to the significant risk of violence.
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