Srinagar: The Home Ministry is seriously considering deploying additional 200 paramilitary companies in Jammu and Kashmir for the upcoming Amarnath Yatra, media reports said. The 46-days yatra starts July 1.
“A Special Cell is being constituted within the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to monitor arrangements for the yatra even as Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba is scheduled to visit Kashmir to himself review security arrangements for the pilgrimage, which have been reviewed recently by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Minister Amit Shah,” Jammu based newspaper reported.
It said the additional 200 companies being inducted in the state will be deployed on the highways from Pathankot to Srinagar and the twin tracks Baltal and Chandanwari leading to the cave.
The 200 companies are in addition to the 300 companies of paramilitary personnel that were driven to the state for the Lok Sabha polls. With the reinforcements, the security grid will have availability of 500 companies, in addition to tens of thousands of soldiers, paramilitary men and the cops already deployed in the state.
Sources have told the newspaper that Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board (SASB) and security agencies have prepared a “detailed plan” to ensure that all pilgrims who register for the yatra are given the bar-coded authority slips that will contain their vital details, photographs and contact numbers.
In a separate development, the governor’s administration has asked the Lunghars, the community kitchens feeding the Amarnath pilgrims, would not be allowed to cross Jawahar Tunnel before June 21. This has led to a lot of opposition by the political parties including Congress and BJP who insist that this will give them less time in pitching the tents.