Amarnath Yatra: Security intensified ahead of commencement on June 29

Jammu and Kashmir Police and CRPF personnel stand guard outside Amarnath Yatra base camp Bhagwati Nagar ahead of the Annual Amarnath Yatra, in Jammu
| Photo Credit: ANI

Unprecedented security measures, including electronic surveillance along the entire yatra route and access control arrangements, have been made for the annual Amarnath yatra scheduled to begin on June 29.

A senior police official said the security measures have been beefed up for this year’s Amarnath yatra given the recent terror attacks in the Jammu region, including the one where a bus was carrying pilgrims to Shiv Khori Shrine.

“We are not taking any chances as terrorists have shown their desperation in recent times to stay in the limelight by targetting innocent pilgrims,” the officer said.

Thousands of security personnel from the police, CRPF, ITBP and other para-military forces have been deployed to ensure foolproof security for the annual pilgrimage.

Besides adequate deployment of security forces at the Yatra Camps, the authorities have decided to carry out aerial surveillance of the Yatra area and deploy spotters to keep a vigil on unwanted activities and suspicious elements.

As part of the security measures, the national highway from Qazigund to Pahalgam and Baltal base camps have been brought under CCTV surveillance, the officials said.

“Movement of all yatra-related vehicles will be monitored round the clock,” they added.

Kashmir Zone Police chief VK Birdi on Monday took stock of the security measures and directed officials to ensure stern security coverage and prompt response to any potential threats.

The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Birdi stressed the need for vigilant patrolling and monitoring of highways and all possible routes to ensure a smooth yatra and comfort for the pilgrims.

Birdi directed them to also identify any areas for improvement and instructed officers to ensure robust dominations at night time to prevent any untoward incidents.

Meanwhile, traffic authorities have issued an advisory for Amarnath yatra.

“In view of the forthcoming Shri Amar Nath Ji Yatra-2024, the administration has decided to impose certain restrictions on traffic plying on different routes. These restrictions will be in force between 28/06/2024 and 19/08/2024,” an official spokesman said.

He said the Traffic department, starting from Thursday, will issue special traffic advisories daily.

“People, including tourists and yatris, are requested to strictly abide by the instructions to avoid unnecessary inconvenience and plan their journey accordingly,” the spokesman said.

Amarnath yatra over the years has remained by and large peaceful, barring four militant strikes one each in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2017 that left 45 pilgrims dead and dozens of others injured.

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