People of Kashmir, not security agencies, make Amarnath pilgrimage a success: Governor Malik

Governor Satya Pal Malik Thursday said that the annual Amarnath pilgrimage is the symbol of Kashmiriyat and it’s the people of Kashmir who make it a grand success.

“The question about the yatra security is being frequently asked to me. Let me clarify today that it’s the people of Kashmir who have been making the annual pilgrimage a success, not the security cover,” Malik told reporters on the sidelines of an investiture ceremony at SKICC on the banks of Dal Lake here.

“Amarnath yatra is the symbol of Kashmiriyat since past many decades.”

Malik distributed presidential and police medals to awardees and appealed the people of Kashmir to provide full support and cooperation to the pilgrims as usual.

“I am happy that the Hurriyat too has stated that there was no threat to Amarnath yatra and it would be peaceful,” the Governor said.

Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani said in a recent statement that the Hindu pilgrimage faced no threat from the people of Muslim-majority Kashmir.

Malik said the job of the administration was to provide a foolproof security cover to the pilgrimage.

“But I reiterate that yatra doesn’t become a success and a peaceful event by ensuring security but with a local support,” Governor Malik said.

Asked if his administration had issued any direction to agencies involved in the security for the pilgrimage to cooperate with the locals at every level, Malik said: “At every point, security people will and are already cooperating with the locals for making Amarnath yatra a peaceful event.”

“There is a better coordination between security agencies and locals.”

The annual pilgrimage to the Himalayan cave shrine of Amarnath begins July 1 from both routes—Chandanwari in Pahalgam area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district and Baltal in Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.

According to security experts, there will be a multi-layer security grid in place and aerial monitoring of pilgrims will also be undertaken.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah is arriving on June 30 to undertake the pilgrimage and have a glimpse of the holy lingum at the shrine of Amarnath.

Recently, Governor’s advisor on security affairs, K Vijay Kumar, stated that attacks on security forces carried out by militants in the past would guide fine-tuning the security cover for smooth conduct of the pilgrimage.