MHA shares inputs on yatra

Police to stagger yatris, create new routes

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, June 7: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has shared certain very specific inputs with Jammu and Kashmir Police (JKP) pertaining to security arrangements for Amarnath yatra. Acting on the inputs, the JKP has decided to put a security mechanism in place for peaceful and smooth yatra to holy cave shrine of Shri Amarnath ji in South Kashmir Himalayas beginning June 25.
Special Secretary (Home) Ajay Chadha, who concluded his visit to Srinagar, the summer capital of the State and held high level review of yatra arrangements with top brass of security, police, para-military, civil administration and Intelligence agencies, shared some inputs with police authorities with the MHA had managed through its Multi Agency Centre (MAC), official sources said.
The inputs have been shared with top brass of police, para-military and Intelligence agencies, they said, adding the authorities have started acting on the inputs and security mechanism for the yatris would be in place around June 20, well ahead of the start of yatra.
Sources said the MHA has agreed to rush additional companies of para-military to Jammu and Kashmir well in advance for deployment along yatra routes. The MHA would be providing a total of 74 companies of para-military forces to the State Government for protection of Amarnath yatris.
Some of the companies would be arranged from different States while others would be mobilized from the local resources here. A total of 100 companies would be deployed for the yatra including that of local police. Police force from various districts was being mobilized to generate companies.
Director General of Police (DGP), K Rajendra said police was trying to create two alternate routes at base camps of Baltal and Nunwan in Pahalgam from Srinagar to stagger the yatris as much as possible.
“Efforts were on to create alternate route at both base camps and stagger the yatris to keep Srinagar, Pahalgam, Baltal and other towns covered by the pilgrims de-congested’’, he said, adding that police and other security agencies were fully alive to the situation.
“A security mechanism in consultations with all security and Intelligence agencies, responsible for safety of Amarnath yatris, would be in place in full consultations with the MHA’’, Mr Rajendra said.
According to sources, security agencies have decided that Army would be manning heights around Shri Amarnath Ji Bhawan in South Kashmir Himalayas while para-military forces and police would be deployed along both tracks, base camps of Baltal and Nunwan in Kashmir, Bhagwati Nagar in Jammu and National Highways of Jammu-Pathankot and Jammu-Srinagar.
The MHA has assured the State administration that its additional companies would start reaching J&K by June 15 to ensure that deployment was completed by June 20. Every security measure would be in place when first batch of yatra would leave Jammu on June 24 while it would start onward pilgrimage from Baltal and Nunwan base camps from June 25.
Sources said the administration has chalked out a disaster management plan for the pilgrims.
“As authorities were expecting heavy rush of yatris to Amarnath ji shrine, they were busy creating additional space for them at Pahalgam, Mir Bazar and other points in Anantnag and Baltal to stagger the yatris. An exercise on this front was on and was likely to be completed in next week so that it was in place well before start of the yatra’’, they added.
According to sources, the MHA has asked the authorities to avoid congestion at Srinagar in view of heavy rush of tourists and Amarnath yatris in view of some “adverse reports’’, which suggested that the militants could take advantage of the situation.

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