LG seeks two make-shift hospitals by DRDO for Shri Amarnath pilgrims

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha in a meeting with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Monday.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha in a meeting with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Monday.

Sinha meets Rajnath, discusses yatra arrangements

BRO help sought for keeping tracks smooth

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, May 16: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today called on Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi and discussed with him security situation along Line of Control (LoC), hinterland in Kashmir and arrangements for annual pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji beginning June 30 and lasting 43 days.

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“Met Raksha Mantri, Rajnath Singh today and discussed road infrastructure for Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra and @BRO India assistance at difficult stretches in challenging terrain at high altitudes which will greatly ease the trek to the holy cave,” the Office of LG, Jammu and Kashmir tweeted after Sinha-Rajnath meeting in New Delhi for about half an hour.
Army, official sources told the Excelsior, is set to play major role in ensuring peaceful pilgrimage to holy cave shrine of Baba Amarnath Ji in South Kashmir Himalayas from June 30-August 11.
They said the Army will secure heights at the cave shrine, some parts of Pahalgam and Baltal tracks and Jammu-Srinagar National Highway besides other places.
“Army will assist paramilitary forces and Jammu and Kashmir Police in vulnerable areas to ward off any threat to the pilgrims,” sources said.
Sinha is reported to have requested the Defence Minister for assistance of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to make the difficult stretches in the challenging terrain at high altitudes smooth which will ease the tracking up to the holy cave of Shri Amarnath Ji.
It was learnt that LG also requested the Defence Minister for setting up make-shift hospitals by the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) in at least two places, and oxygen booths in the route to the holy cave.
The Lieutenant Governor is in New Delhi since yesterday and is scheduled to join high-level security review meeting on Jammu and Kashmir called by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi tomorrow.
“Apart from the situation along Line of Control and hinterland in Kashmir Valley, the major focus of Manoj Sinha-Rajnath Singh meeting remained annual pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji,” sources said, adding the security of yatra has been a cause of concern for both Central as well as Jammu and Kashmir Governments in view of spurt in targeted killings in the Valley.
Some decisions could be taken on curbing targeted killings and preventing any kind of subversive activities during Shri Amarnath Ji yatra by Centre and J&K Governments, sources said.
Though there has been increase in targeted killings, security forces and Jammu and Kashmir Police have also killed large number of militants including top commanders in the Valley.
The anti-militancy operations might be further stepped-up ahead of the pilgrimage, sources said.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has already asked the Jammu and Kashmir administration to submit details about requirement of additional companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) for deployment during the pilgrimage, sources said.
They said that the Central and J&K Governments don’t want to take any chance with the yatra arrangements.
This time, security arrangements are going to be more stringent as the pilgrimage is taking place after two years. In 2019, when the yatra was last held, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had sanctioned 336 additional paramilitary companies for the yatra. This year, the number is expected to be around 400 companies.
The yatra couldn’t be conducted in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID pandemic while it was cut short by about 15 days in 2019 ahead of Central Government’s August 5 decisions to scrap special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate erstwhile State into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.
As per the reports, the Jammu and Kashmir Government could seek at least 400 additional companies of CAPFs from the Centre for making fool-proof security arrangements for Shri Amarnath Ji pilgrimage.