In view of a steep increase in terrorist activities across the state, the security forces have held a series of meetings with intelligence agencies to ensure fool-proof safety and security to the upcoming Amarnath Yatra, an annual sojourn of Hindu pilgrims to the holy Amarnath cave, situated at an altitude of 3,888 metre above sea level and about 141 km from here.
A senior CRPF officer sounded cautious when he said that providing security to the Yatra is a big challenge as it passes through several districts of terror-infested South Kashmir. This year, the Yatra will begin on 28 June from the base camps in Pahalgam. Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Inspector General for Srinagar sector, Ravideep Singh Sahi said that they have put in place advance arrangements for the Yatra and induction of more forces has started in Kashmir valley. He said that this year, 215 companies of paramilitary forces would be deployed in the twin routes of Baltal and Pahalgam. The recent grenade attacks and IED blasts have prompted the forces to sanitise the entire Yatra corridor which passes through the valley, he added.
A senior police officer told this newspaper that about 3,500 additional Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) jawans and at least 35 companies of JKAP and IRP would be deployed for the smooth conduct of the Yatra. Nearly 25,000 men-in-uniform will spread across the entire Yatra route to ensure its safe and peaceful passage.