'Build a bunker': Indian police warn people in Kashmir to prepare for nuclear war
People in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir have been told to build bomb-proof basements and gather food and water for a possible nuclear war.
A series of deadly skirmishes along the cease-fire line in recent weeks has heightened tensions between India and Pakistan - both of which have nuclear weapons.
However officials will not confirm why they are now ordering people in the region to pack two-weeks' worth of essentials.
Tensions in the region have intensified after a number of violent clashes between India and Pakistan
The notice, published on Monday by the Kashmir police in the Greater Kashmir newspaper, advised people to build toilet-equipped basements large enough to house the entire family for two weeks.
If there is no basement, residents should construct bunkers in their front yards, the notice advised.
The shelters should be stocked with candles, battery-operated lights and radios and non-perishable food and water that is regularly replaced to ensure it is fresh, it said.
During an attack, it advises drivers to dive out of their cars toward the blast to save themselves from being crushed by their soon-to-be tumbling vehicles. It also warns residents to keep contaminated people out of their shelters.
'Expect some initial disorientation as the blast wave may blow down and carry away many prominent and familiar features,' it advises.
Yoginder Kaul, inspector-general at the civil defence and state disaster response force, said that it was a 'normal exercise to raise general awareness among (the) public about disaster management.'
'It has nothing to do with anything, and it should not be connected with anything,' Kaul said.
Residents have been told to build bunkers or make their basements bomb-proof, and stockpile food
Both India and Pakistan claim the divided Kashmir region in its entirety and have fought two wars over it.
Earlier this month, three Pakistani soldiers and two Indian soldiers were killed in the worst bout of fighting in Kashmir since a cease-fire accord was signed by the countries in 2003.
In light of the violence, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Sunday he was reviewing future ties with Pakistan.
The nuclear war advisory and its timing surprised many residents in Srinagar, the main city in Indian-controlled Kashmir.
'This is fuelling an atmosphere of fear. Educating people is fine but not this brazen way,' said Fayaz Ahmed, a local resident.
The lengthy notice also provided advice on how to survive attacks with chemical and biological weapons.