Increased threat to yatra this year: Top Army General

‘Number of security personnel enhanced '
Hindu pilgrims being carried by Kashmiri labourers near Pishutoop during their religious journey to the holy cave of Amarnath in Chandanwari. [File]
Hindu pilgrims being carried by Kashmiri labourers near Pishutoop during their religious journey to the holy cave of Amarnath in Chandanwari. [File] ANI

Srinagar: With barely five days left for annual Amarnath Yatra to begin, a top Army Commander on Saturday said that security personnel deployed for pilgrimage this time is "four times more than previous years", as there is increased threat perception to Yatra which begins next week.

The 43-day-long pilgrimage, being held after a gap of two years, is scheduled to commence on June 30, and will conclude by August 11 on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.

“There is an increased threat perception to the Amarnath yatra this year,” the Army Commander told a group of selected journalists here. “We generally receive inputs about terrorists targeting the yatra every year, but, this year, there are more such inputs.”

The top Army General said that they are "expecting almost double to three times over in terms of the yatris to arrive". “A lot of preparations have been put into place,” he said.

“The number of security forces personnel deployed on the ground for the smooth conduct of the yatra is three or four times more than the previous years.”

The endeavour of the administration or the security forces was to ensure a safe and secure Yatra, he said. “But we cannot say that we have made it 100 per cent foolproof,” he said, adding that every effort is underway for a peaceful pilgrimage.

Pertinently, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Thursday reviewed the security arrangements and preparations for the pilgrimage at a unified command meeting in Srinagar.

The meeting was attended by the chief secretary and senior security officers from the home department, J&K Police, Indian Army, intelligence agencies, CRPF, and BSF.

The officers informed the LG about the overall security situation while detailed discussions were held on arrangements related to the Yatra.

LG Sinha also reviewed the extensive plans for telecom connectivity, health care, fire safety, electricity and water supply, weather forecasting, sanitation, lodging, Langar management and disaster management.

According to sources in the home department, the Centre has deployed 15,000 security personnel for the pilgrimage. Besides that, the government has also deployed around 400 paramilitary companies.

While army commandos will guard the cave shrine, the CRPF, BSF, ITBP, SSB and Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel, along with SDRF and NDRF, will also be stationed at strategic points of the pilgrimage.

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