Press Trust of India

Security measures tightened ahead of Amarnath Yatra

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Srinagar/Jammu: With the Amarnath Yatra set to begin in a week, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday said security arrangements have been tightened and facilities improved for the successful conduct of the pilgrimage.

Jammu Additional Director General of Police Anand Jain has reviewed security arrangements along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, emphasising the need for the highest level of alertness to scuttle any attempt by terrorists to disrupt the pilgrimage, officials said on Saturday.

Taking part in the virtual ‘Pratham Puja’ of the Amarnath Yatra at the Raj Bhavan in Srinagar on Saturday morning, Sinha said, “Darshan for the pilgrims across the country will begin from June 29. The (Shri Amarnath) Shrine Board and the J-K administration have made special arrangements for the pilgrims. In the last two years, the facilities for the yatris have improved a lot.”

Sinha said the roads leading to the cave shrine have been upgraded and some stretches have been widened by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) this year. “I think the yatris will be able to undertake a smoother pilgrimage this time,” he told reporters at Raj Bhavan after the puja.

The LG said people from all religions have always supported the yatra.

“I appeal to the people of J-K, especially those in the areas from where the yatra passes through, to keep alive the tradition of supporting the yatra and taking care of the pilgrims this year also. Peaceful and smooth pilgrimage helps create a good image of J-K across the world,” he added.

The 52-day pilgrimage will begin from the two tracks — the traditional 48-km Nunwan-Pahalgam route in Anantnag and the 14-km shorter but steep Baltal route in Ganderbal — on June 29, a day after the first batch of pilgrims will leave Bhagwati Nagar base camp in Jammu for the valley.

Over 4.5 lakh pilgrims performed the pilgrimage last year and offered their prayers at the naturally formed ice-shivlingam inside the cave shrine.

ADGP, Jammu on Friday conducted an extensive review of the security arrangements on the 270-km Jammu-Srinagar national highway for the upcoming yatra, a police spokesperson said.

He was accompanied by Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Doda-Kishtwar-Ramban Range, Shridhar Patil, Jammu DIG (Traffic) Dr Haseeb Mughal, Ramban Senior Superintendent of Police Anuj Kumar, SSP (Traffic National Highway) Rohit Baskotra.

ADGP Jain inspected the security measures implemented on the highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, especially at community kitchens, lodgement centres and checking spots at key locations.

Highlighting the potential threats from anti-national elements aiming to disrupt the yatra, Jain underscored the necessity of foolproof security and emphasised the need for the highest level of alertness.

He urged the officers to keep a close watch on any suspicious activity and maintain round-the-clock vigilance, the spokesman said.

Jain also stressed the importance of a coordinated and people-friendly approach to ensure the comfort and security of pilgrims.

The ADGP also gave instructions to the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel to remain extra vigilant and responsive to any emergencies, ensuring prompt rescue operations in case of any unexpected mishaps due to natural or man-made calamities.

During the inspection, Jain checked the functioning of CCTV cameras, the communication network, and transport arrangements of security forces, the spokesperson said.

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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