The security in and around the Jammu Railway Station wasstrengthened ahead of the commencement of annual Amarnath Yatra and a seniorpolice officer on Monday assured pilgrims to join the pilgrimage without anyfear, saying the security situation in the state was as good as in any otherpart of the country.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Railways, Ranjit SinghSambyal also said that all incoming and outgoing trains would be checked alongwith the luggage of the passengers with the assistance of specially trained dogsquad capable of detecting explosives.
The 46-day annual yatra is scheduled to begin from the twinroute — traditional Pahalgam track in Anantnag district and shortest Baltaltrack in Ganderbal district — on July 1 and would conclude on August 15coinciding with the Raksha Bandhan festival.
"We are expecting heavy rush of pilgrims during theyatra and have beefed up the security at the railway station in view of thethreat perception though there is no specific input (about terrorist plan totarget the pilgrims)," Sambyal told reporters at the main railway stationhere.
The officer, who led a joint drill of the government railwaypolice and the Jammu and Kashmir Police to check the security arrangements,said the quick reaction teams at the entrance and exit points werestrengthened.
"We are ready and fully satisfied with the securityarrangements which were made in accordance with the standard operatingprocedure (SOP). We want to convey to the intending pilgrims that there is noneed to worry and they should join the pilgrimage as the situation in the stateis as good as in any other part of the country," he said.
The SSP said a special sniffer dog squad would check allincoming and outgoing trains besides the luggage of the passengers withoutcausing any inconvenience to them as the canines were trained to detectexplosives.
A joint control room with representatives from all securityagencies was established for the benefit of the pilgrims, he said.
He said the security of the railway platforms wasstrengthened and patrolling of the tracks intensified while a round-the-clockvigil would be maintained on all the people through CCTV cameras.
"The drill will continue on daily basis to check thesecurity arrangements and plug any loophole," he said.
Meanwhile, the Traffic Department has divided theJammu-Lakhanpur highway into 10 zones where suitable motor bikers would bedeployed for assisting and helping the pilgrims to ensure hassle free movementof vehicles carrying the pilgrims, officials said.
In addition, special check points would be established atall the link roads falling on the highway from Lakhanpur to Bari Brahamana,they said.
The officials said Inspector General of police, Traffic,Alok Kumar, along with SSP Traffic Rural Jammu, Mohan Lal Kaith, visitedLakhanpur — the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir — to review the trafficarrangements in connection with the yatra.
During the visit, IGP Traffic took stock of reception centreat Lakhanpur and directed the officers concerned to conduct one time documentchecking of pilgrim vehicles and pasting of stickers to avoid any inconvenienceto the devotees.