In order to ensure safety of pilgrims taking up Amarnarth Yatra, Indian Army is deploying five additional battalions of about 5000 soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir to ensure security.
The annual pilgrimage that starts on June 29 will be guarded by Indian Army to prevent any communal flare up during the yatra that will be preceded by Eid-ul-fitr on June 26.
“The idea is to ensure the semblance of normalcy during Eid and the Amarnath yatra. The situation is normal and the effort is to ensure it,” said a defence official.
As per available information, Army troops will be equipped with night vision capability and tasked with securing the heights around the routes, the source added. Additional Territorial Army components have also been moved in for support.
One battalion will be on the Sonamarg-Baltal route to the Amarnarth shrine in Jammu and Kashmir and another one will be in the Pahalgam route.
The remaining battalions will be positioned along the Srinagar-Jammu highway north of the Jawahar Tunnel.
This year long Amarnath yatra is set to begin on June 29 and culminate on June 7. Given the prevailing situation in Kashmir valley one additional battalion in counter infiltration role is deployed along the Line of Control (LoC)
In the last few months the Army and security forces have foiled several infiltration attempts in different sectors near the Line of Control (LoC).
Overall responsibility of the yatra is with the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) and looked after by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). Army provides additional support in sanitise routes and secure the heights.
In all over 14,000 security personnel from the Army, paramilitary and the local police will be deployed all along the 300-km pilgrimage route that is taken by approximately 3 to 5 lakh pilgrims every year.