40,000 security men to be deployed for yatra
JAMMU, June 10: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will tomorrow review security situation in the border areas while Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba will discuss the stringent measures required to check “social media hate campaign” by the sympathizers of militants in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country. Top officials from J&K will be present at the meeting called by Gauba.
Official sources told the Excelsior that Rajnath will review security situation in the border areas tomorrow at a high-level meeting with some Ministers and party leaders. The meeting comes close on the heels of Rajnath’s two-day tour to Jammu and Kashmir during which he had also visited borders areas of Jammu region.
Rajnath had announced series of welfare measures for the border areas including raising of exclusive police battalions for border youths, reservation in Indian Reserve Police (IRP) battalions, increase in compensation for death of civilians and livestock and bullet-proof ambulances for the forward areas.
After latest incident of border firing at Kanachak and Pargwal in which two BSF jawans were martyred and 15 civilians injured, the International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir have been peaceful with no ceasefire violations reported from anywhere.
Sources said Union Home Secretary, Rajiv Gauba, who had accompanied Rajnath during his two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, will tomorrow chair a high-level review meeting to check “social media hate campaign” launched by the sympathizers of militants in the Valley and steps required to curb the activities.
Top civil and police officials from Jammu and Kashmir will attend the meeting.
The Union Home Ministry has reports that campaign on social media by the “pro-militant elements” was leading to incidents of stone pelting in some parts of the Valley. Officials from Information and Technology and Communications Department have also been called to the meeting.
“The youths were being incited through the social media to gather at the sites of encounters to help militants escape by pelting stones on security forces,” sources said, adding that in some cases protests have also been organized in some areas through this campaign.
The ways and means through which this campaign can be curbed will be discussed at tomorrow’s high-level meeting.
Pointing out that the campaign was not only confined to Jammu and Kashmir but has also spread to some other States including the Union capital, sources said the Home Ministry could order stringent measures against the “hate mongers’ including registration of FIRs against the accused followed by their arrests. Steps for immediate identification of the “hate material” and its removal from the social media, will also be discussed during the meeting.
“The Government was going to act tough against the `keypad jihadis’ now,” sources asserted.
PTI adds from New Delhi: The Jammu and Kashmir Police has sought around 22,500 additional paramilitary personnel for deployment along the entire route of the Amarnath pilgrimage, for which multi-tier security arrangements will be put in place, sources said today.
The pilgrimage to the shrine in South Kashmir Himalayas begins on June 28.
Tracking of pilgrims’ movement through satellites, installation of jammers, CCTV cameras and bulletproof bunkers, deployment of dog squads and Quick Reaction Teams will be part of the security drill along pilgrimage routes.
The heightened security arrangements will be put in place with the involvement of the Army, paramilitary forces and the Jammu and Kashmir Police in view of an analysis by security agencies which suggested vulnerability of pilgrims, an official privy to the development said.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police is seeking additional 225 companies of paramilitary forces for deployment along the pilgrimage route.
These forces will join the existing forces operating in Jammu and Kashmir, the official said.
A company of paramilitary comprises 100 personnel.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh has reviewed security arrangements for the Amaranth yatra during his two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir last week.
Singh has been told that multi-tier security will be put in place for the smooth conduct of the pilgrimage which attracts lakhs of pilgrims every year, another official said.
A total of around 40,000 personnel are expected to be deployed during this year’s pilgrimage.
Around 35,000 troops were deployed during the Amarnath pilgrimage in 2017.
The Ministry of Home Affairs is also looking into various other aspects of the security set-up during the nearly two-month long pilgrimage to the cave shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva in the Himalayas in Jammu and Kashmir, the official said.
According to the estimates of various security agencies, there are about 200 active terrorists in the Kashmir valley and recent trends show that terrorists are getting more brazen in their attacks.
A total of 2.60 lakh pilgrims offered prayers at the shrine last year.
Amarnath Ji shrine is situated in a narrow gorge at the farther end of Lidder Valley.