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First batch of 1,138 pilgrims leaves Jammu for annual Amarnath Yatra

Spike in terrorist activities have posed a serious threat to the security arrangements

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Amarnath Yatra. Image source: www.thetathaastu.com
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  • The first batch of pilgrims for Amarnath Yatra left Jammu today
  • Rajnath Singh will take a stalk of security measures in his two day visit to the state
  • CRPF will be inducting drones for aerial security and crowd management

JAMMU, JULY 1: Amid tight security, the first batch of 1,138 pilgrims left Jammu today, for the annual Amarnath yatra, which begins from Saturday, July 2.

The 48-day long yatra that will proceed to Amarnath shrine situated in South Kashmir Himalayas from Pahalgam and Balta, which has begun under the concern of increased incidents of terrorist attacks in the state.

Reportedly, there are 900 males, 225 females and 13 children in the first batch. They have left Jammu in 13 buses, 24 mini-buses and other modes of public and private transport in a group guarded by the security forces.

Flanked by junior minister Priya Sethi and Lok Sabha member Jugal Kishore State Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh flagged off the batch of pilgrims from Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in Jammu at 5 am today.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Image source: abplive.com

According to the Indian Express, Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh will also take a stock of the security measures in his two day visit to the valley.He along with Governor N N Vohra will also be present for the pratham (first) darshan of ‘baba barfani’ (ice lingam at the shrine).

Nirmal Singh said, “With adequate number of security forces sent to the state by Central government, all security arrangements for smooth conduct of yatra have been put in place.”

Singh added that that special enquiry centres have been set up by police and other agencies for all information, particularly the weather conditions.

Speaking to The Hindu, a senior police officer said, “With up gradation in technology, many new electronic surveillance systems have been inducted in the security set up.”

He further told that CRPF will be inducting drones for aerial security and crowd management and added, “This will be in addition to the manual security in and around the base camp.”

The state is currently struggling with increased terrorist activities and attacks on security forces, which has posed a serious threat to the security arrangements made for the peaceful termination of the yatra.

-This report is compiled by a staff-writer at NewsGram.

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“Increased Army Will Achieve Nothing” Says J&K CM

In J&K increased security is of no use

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"Increased Army Will Achieve Nothing" Says J&K CM, Flickr

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said the trend of more youths joining army will achieve nothing except increased footprints of the security forces in the state.

Addressing a convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) here, Mehbooba reacted to reports of more young people joining militant ranks.

“The increase in the number of youths picking up the gun will increase the presence of Army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the police.

military men
Military men, Pixabay

“More the situation improves, the more we can ask the Army, the CRPF and the police to reduce their footprints (in Kashmir)”, the Chief Minister said.

Condemning the recent grenade attacks by militants in the Valley, she said: “Despite ceasefire, there are grenade attacks. They do not see that civilians are getting killed, they do not see that Army or CRPF jawans have come from far flung areas for their bread and butter. What will this achieve?

“There have been thousands of grenade attacks till now, thousands have picked up guns and become militants, but what has been achieved?” she asked.

She said through peaceful means the People’s Democratic Party had been able to persuade the opening of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalkote roads.

Indian para commandos
Indian para commandos, Representational image, (Wikimedia Commons)

“If the situation improves, I promise you that we will open more such routes.”

Mehbooba made a fervent appeal to Kashmiri separatists to come forward for talks and save the state from further bloodshed and reminded them that the announcement of ceasefire by the Indian government was a step that cannot be expected always.

She said the problem can only be resolved thorough dialogue.

“This time there is an offer of dialogue from the Centre. I request all stakeholders to come forward to save Kashmir.”

Mehbooba said it was for the separatists to decide whether the youths of Kashmir should come out of the culture of stones and guns.

Also read: Pakistan army violates ceasefire at LOC in Rajouri

She also appealed to New Delhi and Islamabad to start the dialogue process in order to improve the situation since Jammu and Kashmir bears the brunt of strained relations between the two countries. (IANS)