July 2003 News

Terror Clouds Holy Heights

24 July 2003
The Statesman

Jammu: Security forces have been put on a high alert along the route to Amarnath cave shrine from Pahalgam and Baltal following the killing of seven pilgrims near Mata Vaishno Devi temple at Katra. The 300-km Jammu-Pahalgam route have been put under the extra vigil category, with massive deployment of police and para-military forces to ward off any militant attack.Army, CRPF, BSF and J&K Police have been mobilised to provide security cover to the Amarnath yatris. Mr Muneer Khan, SSP of Anantnag, said the attack on Vaishno Devi pilgrims at Jammu had given them a sort of wake-up call, prompting a further streamlining of the security apparatus in the valley.'We are leaving nothing to chance. The route from Banihal to the cave shrine has been fully sanitised and the road opening parties have been in place to foil any designs of ultras to plant IEDs,' he said. Anti-sabotage squads have been fully mobilised to keep ultras at bay. Random search of vehicles has also been intensified to make sure that no anti- national element manages to sneak in and create subversion.Besides police, the BSF, which has a conspicuous presence in Pahalgam en- route to cave, has also geared up its security apparatus. Mr K Srinivasan, DIG, BSF, Kashmir, said they have received intelligence inputs that militants are trying to create subversion, and accordingly the security forces have mobilised resources to prevent any such attack.'Last night's attack on Vashno Devi pilgrims led us to re-devise our strategy. We have streamlined our system and all precautions have been taken to foil any design of ultras,' he said. UN Secretary General Mr Kofi Annan has expressed his condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives, adds SNS from New Delhi.


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