Massive Mobilization Of Troops For Amarnath Yatra

30 June 2015
Rising Kashmir
Sumaiya Yousuf

Srinagar: Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place for Amarnath Yatra, beginning July 2, with as many as 170 companies of Army and paramilitary forces being sought for deployment at various places along the yatra route. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will be arriving here on Wednesday to review the security arrangements for the 59-day annual pilgrimage to the Himalayan cave shrine. 'Elaborate security arrangements have been made to ensure peaceful Amarnath Yatra. We will have 170 companies of Army in addition to the personnel from CRPF, BSF ITBP etc,' Director General of Police (DGP) K Rajendra told Rising Kashmir. A total of 16 companies of Jammu and Kashmir Police have been deployed for providing security to the pilgrims. 'We have three-tier security arrangements in place and have adequate resources to deal with law and order problems and any natural disasters. The area domination is being looked after by Army along with Road Opening Parties of CRPF,' he added. The DGP said elaborate security arrangements were made in addition to the usual preparation keeping in view the recent attacks in Sopore area. However, he ruled out any specific threat to the Yatra. 'There is no specific threat to the Yatra and if there would be any threat, we are ready to deal with any situation,' Rajendra said. Reacting to reports about imposition of Section 144 at some places on Yatra route, he said there was no such need. 'This is neither in my knowledge and there is no need to impose Section 144. We have enough forces to deal with law and order issues,' the DGP said. Meanwhile, according to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) as on 29th June, a total of 2,04,508 pilgrims had secured Advance Registration and 22,104 had purchased helicopter tickets from Baltal and Pahalgam to Panjtarni. Police has activated a control room at the Bhagwati Nagar base camp which would provide round the clock security to the pilgrims coming from different parts of India. This year SASB has banned sale, distribution and consumption of cold drinks, fried and junk food enroute the cave shrine. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is expected to arrive here on Wednesday on a two-day visit to review the security arrangements for the Yatra and offer prayers at the Himalayan cave shrine on July 2. The home minister will review the security arrangements for this year's Yatra along with Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed and senior officials of state and central security forces. The cave shrine, situated 14,500 above the sea level, houses an ice stalagmite structure which waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon. Hindus believe the ice stalagmite structure symbolises the mythical powers of Lord Shiva and offer the pilgrimage every year. According to the data maintained by SASB, last year 40 pilgrims died due to cardiac arrest during the Yatra.