Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is scheduled to visit Amarnath cave shrine on Saturday to pay his obeisance on the beginning of the annual religious pilgrimage. Jammu & Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh flagged off the first batch of 1,282 pilgrims for the cave shrine in South Kashmir Himalayas on Friday.
The 48-day long annual Amarnath yatra began on July 1 at the backdrop of the deadly terrorist attack on CRPF convoy last Saturday at Pampore in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Eight CRPF personnel were killed and 24 others injured in the attack.
Home Minister, who is on a two day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, attended a high-level meeting with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, top civil, police and Army officers on Friday to take stock of the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
Rajnath was briefed about various steps being taken by the security agencies to tackle the terrorism as well as infiltration from across the border which have seen a rise in recent times.
Drones are being used for aerial security of the Amarnath base camp at Bhagwati Nagar area of Jammu city for the first time while at least 20,000 security personnel have been deployed along the two routes.
Adequate security has been put in place to ensure smooth and peaceful conduct of Amarnath yatra this year,” said the Deputy CM of Jammu & Kashmir.
“With upgradation in technology, many new electronic surveillance systems have been inducted in the security set up,” a senior police officer said.
Special enquiry centres have been set up by police and other agencies for all type of information, particularly the weather conditions enroute to the pilgrims.
CRPF will be using the drones for security of Bhagwati Nagar base camp here and a monitoring centre has been set up at the camp.
“This will be in addition to the manual security in and around the base camp”, the officer said.
The first batch of pilgrims, comprising 900 men, 225 women, 13 children and 144 sadhus, left in a convoy of 33 vehicles escorted by CRPF personnel from Bhagwati Nagar base camp at 0500 hours on July 1.