Additional central paramilitary forces have been made available to Jammu and Kashmir this year to ensure peaceful pilgrimage to the 3,880-metre high holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, scheduled to begin next month, a senior police officer said Monday.
Inspector General of Police, Jammu, M K Sinha said the availability of more forces compared to previous years have resulted in strengthening of counter-infiltration grid, deployment of road-opening parties all along the highway and strengthening of the security around camps housing the pilgrims.
Six special teams comprising police, the SDRF and magistrates would be deployed in landslide prone areas along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway in Ramban district to ensure minimum disruption during the yatra, he said.
"Though there is no specific input about threat to the yatra, all necessary security arrangements are in place as the sensitivity increases during the pilgrimage. We have got additional central paramilitary forces this time compared to previous years and have accordingly made foolproof arrangements," Sinha told reporters here this evening.
He said two companies of the BSF were inducted and deployed with the border police, who are in the third tier in the counter-infiltration grid along the international border, to augment security and ensure adequate manpower to guard the border roads linking with the highway from Lakhanpur to Jammu.
"The yatra crosses five districts of Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Udhampur and Ramban in Jammu region covering a total distance of 268-kms. The whole highway has been divided into different zones and sectors for better security," he said, adding that each zone will be headed by a superintendent of police, while non-gazetted police officers will be responsible for the security in assigned sectors.
"The highway check posts have been increased and the laterals connecting with the highway will be manned and no one will be allowed on the highway from there during the movement of the pilgrims," he said.
Pilgrim camps, registration centres and community kitchens will be guarded round-the-clock, he said.
"In fact, the langar (community kitchen) operators were given conditional permission that they will install CCTV cameras and ensure proper lighting arrangement in the peripheral areas of their camping site as part of the enhanced security arrangement," the IGP said.
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