Centre steps up Amarnath Yatra security arrangement

NEW DELHI June 15:

In wake of the terror attack on the devotees’ bus returning from Amarnath Yatra in 2017, the Centre has instructed the security agencies to make foolproof security arrangement for this annual pilgrimage, a Home Ministry official said here today.
Around three lakh pilgrims are expected to join this annual yatra which begins on June 28 and continue till August 26 this year. “On Home Ministry’s instruction at least 238 companies of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) will be deployed along with the route for almost two month long Yatra”, a top official of the Ministry said.
Last year, 204 companies of CRPF were deputed for security arrangement. Apart from this, around 25,000 additional forces, consisting of Army, Border Security Force and Jammu Kashmir Police, will also be deployed at strategic locations right from base camp to Holy Shrine.
“The security forces have already been gone for specialised training capsule for couple of weeks and they have been properly briefed about the security threats”, an official who is part of security apparatus said.
The camps erected along the route will be supervised by the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) or SP level officers, the official added. Taking lessons from the previous year incident of terror attack on a bus carrying devotees, the Home Ministry has also decided to equip all buses or mini-buses carrying  pilgrims, with Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tags for better coordination.
The RFID device uses radio waves to read and capture information stored on a tag attached to an object, the official said, adding it will be installed onto the vehicles when an individual or tour operators register to travel to Kashmir for Amarnath Yatra.
“Drones will also be pressed in to service to keep close watch over the routes,’ said the officials. A round the clock helpline number 1364 is also being installed to help the Yatris during pilgrimage. The Home Ministry has asked the stakeholders of the security apparatus to use CCTV cameras, bullet proof bunkers, dog squads and quick reaction teams on the yatra route and satellite will also be positioned to track the entire route.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday reviewed the security arrangements of Amarnath Yatra which was attended by the National Security Advisor, Home Secretary, Army Chief, Intelligence Bureau Director, Director Generals of CRPF and BSF and senior officials of Home Ministry. Home Minister had also reviewed the security arrangement for the Amarnath Yatra during his recent visit to Jammu and Kashmir on June 7-8.
Last year, on July 10, nine Amarnath pilgrims were killed and 19 others injured in an terror attack in Anantnag district when the terrorists fired at a bus indiscriminately which was carrying pilgrims. (UNI)


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