Unprecedented security arrangements made for Amarnath yatra

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Pahalgam, Jun 25: In view of increase in militant activities from last the about a month in Kashmir, unprecedented security and other arrangements have been made along the entire route of the Amarnath yatra, which commences on June 28.
Meanwhile, asserting that it was safe to visit Kashmir as security has been put in place for the upcoming Amarnath yatra, Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra has urged devotees to undertake the annual pilgrimage without any fear.
“Amarnath Yatra is sensitive, taking cue from increase in militant activities and threat perception; we have geared up the security forces along the entire yatra route, starting from Jammu. We will ensure a safe Yatra,” a senior police official said.
He said the security cover will be three times more than previous years as authorities do not want to take any chance this time when there is already surge in the militant activities and stone pelting incidents during the past few months.
However, official sources confirmed that there is no specific threat to yatra from the militant organizations.
The jawans of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security forces, Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Army and state police have been deployed at the vital places for the security of the pilgrims.
“The entire yatra route from both axis besides base camps at Nunwan Pahalgam in south Kashmir and Baltal in central Kashmir district of Ganderbal have already been handed over to security forces,” official sources said, adding that there would be three-tier security arrangement to foil any attempt by miscreants and militants to attack the pilgrims.
In view of attack on pilgrims, coming back from Amarnath yatra last year, he said adequate advance information will be secured about all Yatra related vehicular movements from Banihal onwards, both towards Pahalgam and Sonamarg.
They said that 118 battalions of security forces have been deployed on the shorts Baltal route to the holy cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas.
“As many as 237 additional battalions of security forces have been deployed in the state to provide security to pilgrims undertaking Amarnath yatra. They include Road Opening Parties (ROP), security along the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, deployment in Srinagar and along both the routes to Amarnath,” they said.
“We are providing security to pilgrims right from Bagwati Nagar base camp at Jammu to cave shrine, situated at about 14,000 feet above sea level, they said.
Vohra, who is the chairman Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), accompanied by Umang Narula, CEO of the Shrine Board, on Saturday visited the Sheshnag and reviewed the security and other arrangements being made to receive the pilgrims at the Sheshnag Yatra Camp.
The Governor directed the Camp Director and other functionaries to particularly ensure effective sanitary arrangements in respect of the functioning of toilet and bath units and the day to day cleaning of the Camp areas.
After Sheshnag, Mr Vohra visited the Pahalgam Helipad where he inaugurated the newly constructed Waiting Hall for the Yatris who would be travelling by the helicopter services to Panjtarni.
He appreciated the Pahalgam Development Authority’s initiative to establish this facility which will be beneficial for all the pilgrims and tourists visiting Pahalgam.
After Chandanwari, Vohra returned to the Nunwan Yatra Base Camp and held a meeting with Central Armed Police Forces, representatives of the Army, Police and all concerned Divisional and District Level officers.
The Governor also reviewed the status of water supply, electricity, rations including cooking gas, firewood and medical facilities at each of the Yatra Camps visited by him.