Amarnath Yatra to begin amid multi-layer security cover

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Amid deployment of 500 additional companies of government forces, the annual pilgrimage of Amarnath will commence tomorrow after a gap of two years.

Officials told a local news agency, Kashmir News Observer (KNO), that at least 500 additional companies of government forces including BSF, CRPF, ITBP and SSB, have been deployed for the smooth conduct of the pilgrimage. This is apart from the army, CRPF, BSF and police forces already present in Kashmir.

“Majority of security forces have been deployed at base camps, Yatra routes and vulnerable points along the highways,” they said, adding that as part of the security grid, there will be round the clock patrolling at yatra routes and highways.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar visited the cave shrine and took stock of the security arrangements in place for the pilgrimage. The J-K LG Manoj Sinha has already stated that there was “nothing to worry as all security arrangements were in place”.

Officials told KNO that LG Sinha, along with administrative officers and Jammu Mayor, will flag off the first batch of Amarnath pilgrims from Bhagwati Nagar based Yatri Niwas on Wednesday morning.

They said that first batch will leave for Chandanwari and Baltal routes in tight security convey lead by vehicles from CRPF and J-K.

Officials added that all arrangements, basic facilities are also in place for the pilgrims.

Notably, Shri Amarnath Yatra is being organised this year after remaining suspended due to Covid pandemic in 2020-21 and in cut short in August 2019 in view of abrogation of J-K’s limited autonomy.

The 43-day yatra will conclude on 11 August on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.

Sinha, who is also the chairman of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board on Monday also visited the Yatri Niwas and took stock of preparations for the yatra.

Sinha said that people of both the regions of J-K are enthusiastic to welcome the pilgrims while the government forces are on alert for smooth conduct of Shri Amarnath pilgrimage.

Additional security personnel from police, CRPF, CAPF, CISF, BSF and Army are deployed within Jammu, peripheries and along Jammu-Srinagar national highway for the smooth and safe conduct of the yatra.

Meanwhile, District Administration Kathua today welcomed the first batch of Amarnath yatris at Lakhanpur- the gateway of J-K amidst spirited participation of a large number of pilgrims who turned up for annual Amarnath Yatra resuming this year after two years of Covid-19 scare.

The yatris were formally welcomed at Lakhanpur base camp in Kathua district by Vice Chairman DDC Kathua Raghunandan Singh, DC Kathua Rahul Pandey, SSP Kathua R C Kotwal.

At Kathua, administration also provided RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags to each pilgrim entering in the UT for Amarnath Pilgrimage.

Already registered were given RFID tags at Lakhanpur after mandatory undergo eKYC (Know Your Costumer) verification.

A 24×7 information help desk has also been set up to provide proper yatra related information to the visitors.

Moreover, Police have also issued special stickers for pasting them on vehicles ferrying pilgrims and said that no vehicle without HSRP will be allowed to proceed on the highway towards the cave shrine.

“Special teams deputed to verify documents of the vehicles carrying Amarnath pilgrims, following which a special striker issued and pasted on the windscreen to avoid any other check throughout the journey route,” said a police official.

The J-K administration have also barred non HSRP vehicles from carrying pilgrims. “In past, we have seen many vehicles with tempered number plates, prone to be use in terror related crimes, to check this, pilgrims are advised to travel only in HSRP fixed vehicles,” said a senior police official. (KNO)

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