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Amarnath yatra route ‘highly prone’ to terror strikes: JK govt

June 19
03:30 2013

amarnathyatraSRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir government has declared the entire Amarnath yatra route in the state as “highly prone” to terror strikes and directed security agencies to take necessary steps to ensure safety of pilgrims.

“Considering the security scenario, topography of the yatra area, high potential of terrorist attacks on the yatris to create law and order situation throughout the state and the country, sensitive nature of the yatra, and the high publicity the yatra generates, the entire yatra area is highly prone to terrorist attacks,” the State Home Department said in a circular issued to all agencies concerned.

The circular, issued last week, directed the Army, police and other security forces to take action as per their standard operating procedures in the matter to ensure safe pilgrimage which starts on June 28.

“Directions (and) inputs received in this regard from intelligence agencies and Unified HQ should be promptly shared with other security forces (and) intelligence agencies and necessary action should be initiated to prevent any mishap,” the circular reads.

The security agencies have also been directed to carry out aerial surveillance of the yatra area and deploy spotters in adequate numbers at the camps.

“Besides adequate deployment of security forces at the yatra camps, aerial surveillance of the yatra area may be undertaken and spotters may be deployed in adequate numbers at the yatra camps, particularly at the Holy Cave Shrine area to spot unwanted activities (and) suspicious characters,” it added.

For effective regulation of the yatra, closed circuit TV cameras will be installed at the camp locations.

To ensure that the yatra is effectively regulated, the circular said: “CEO of SASB (Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board) shall explore the possibility of installing CCTVs at Access Control Gates at Domel and Chandanwari.”

The CCTVs should be linked via Internet with Control Rooms at Srinagar, the circular read.

Army on Monday said it has received inputs that terrorists might try to disrupt the Amarnath Yatra.

“Intelligence inputs which we are receiving suggest that they (terrorists) have intentions to disrupt the Yatra,” General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, Lt General K T Parnaik said.

Amarnath yatra over the years has remained by and large peaceful barring three militant strikes one each in 2000, 2001 and 2002 that left 36 pilgrims and dozen others dead. – PTI

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