Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists are planning to carry out terror attacks on the holy Amarnath Yatra, which is scheduled to begin on June 28, an intelligence input has indicated. The 60-day yatra to the 3,880 metre high holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, is feared to be hit by a fidayeen attack using car bomb, training for which is being given in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK), the intelligence agencies revealed.
Keeping in view the security scenario and the threat lurking over the yatra, various agencies and forces have stepped up arrangements to ward off any threat by the terrorists.
No restriction on chanting of mantras, singing of bhajans inside Amarnath cave shrine, clarifies NGT
The specially trained Black Cat NSG commandos have been asked to be on standby to deal with any terror or hostage-like situation. They will also be stationed at Srinagar airport to tackle any eventuality.
As part of foolproof security arrangements to ensure an incident-free pilgrimage, tracking chips will be installed in vehicles bound for the annual Amarnath Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir next week.
"Special counters have been set up at Lakhanpur, the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir bordering Punjab. All the vehicles carrying the Amarnath pilgrims will be installed with tracking chips to keep an eye on their movement," Inspector General of Police, Jammu, S D Singh Jamwal said.
An extensive plan includes the use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) stickers for vehicles carrying yatris to aid security forces keep track of movement. Installation of RFID tags in vehicles used by pilgrims will aid in better coordination and use of drones for the surveillance of suspicious activities.
The RFID tags will be installed on vehicles when an individual or tour operator registers to travel to Kashmir for Amarnath Yatra.
At least 10-15 drones will operate through the day to monitor yatris. A 24X7 helpline number 1364 will start two days before the yatra. Additional CCTV cameras, bulletproof bunkers, dog squads and quick reaction teams on the yatra route will also be in place. Satellites are likely to track the movement of pilgrims
The first batch of the pilgrims will leave Bagwati Nagar base camp from here on June 27.
Jamwal said such a technology was being used for the first time which would help the police to keep an eye on the vehicles once they leave for the twin base camps of Baltal in Ganderbal and Pahalgam in Anantnag - the twin tracks leading to the cave shrine which houses the naturally formed ice 'Shivlingam'.
"Like in the past, the pilgrims will leave the base camp here in a convoy and through chip tracking, we can ensure that no vehicle is left behind or loses its way, Jamwal said.
Asserting that all necessary security arrangements have been made for the yatra this year, the IGP asked the pilgrims to visit the shrine without any fear.
"We have made elaborate security arrangements. All security agencies, including the Army, police, paramilitary forces and state and central intelligence agencies are working together. All the roads and tracks from Lakhanpur to the cave shrine have been covered," he said.
The police official said security forces were working round-the-clock to foil any nefarious design of the subversive elements.
"We are ready to deal with any situation," the IGP said, adding the police are working with various agencies and government departments to make the pilgrimage a memorable one for the yatris.
Jamwal said security around the base camp in the city and the temples where the 'sadhus' (seers) are putting up has also been strengthened.
In addition, he said a plan has also been chalked out to thwart infiltration of terrorists from across the International Border and Line of Control (LoC).
"Special checking points have been set up on the roads leading to border areas, while the police stations and posts have been strengthened," the officer said.
He added that the police were also cooperating with the Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board and have worked out a plan to help the pilgrims in distress.
Almost a year ago, Lashkar operatives had unleashed a terror attack on a bus carrying yatris, killing 10 devotees from Gujarat and injuring 18.
Watch video: Threat lurks over Amarnath Yatra as intelligence agencies warn of possible terror attack- IndiaTv's Exclusive Report
(With PTI inputs)