In the first episode of Game of Thrones Season 2, Melisandre, the red priestess, yells out to the gods: “The night is dark and full of terrors.” When former J&K CMs Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah were put under house arrest on the evening of August 4, they must have felt the same, but with a little difference. “The terrible of them all are our own errors,” they must have felt. Or maybe not.
The dark clouds had been gathering for a while. First, Amarnath pilgrims and tourists were asked to immediately leave Kashmir. A possible “terror attack” was cited as the reason. The government arranged transport for their evacuation. Non-local students in the National Institute of Technology (NIT) were also asked to leave, though the district administration in Srinagar denied passing any such orders. Finally, on August 5, Union home minister Amit Shah ended all speculation. The attack did not come from Pakistan, but was terrifying nevertheless. He proposed a bill in Parliament to amend Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.