JAMMU: In view of the threat to the annual Amarnath Yatra, the Centre has decided to take unprecedented security measures to protect pilgrims during the 60-day pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva in Jammu and Kashmir. The annual Amarnath Yatra is scheduled to start from June 28.
According to reports, the CRPF has formed a special motorcycle squad as part of its efforts to ensure foolproof security during the annual Amarnath Yatra.
#Jammu: CRPF has formed a special motorcycle squad as part of its security arrangements for the upcoming #AmarnathYatra. These motorcycles are well-equipped to be used as mini ambulances as well. pic.twitter.com/MJBogyznVn
— ANI (@ANI) June 26, 2018
"Keeping in view the convenience and security of pilgrims, the CRPF has prepared a special motorcycle squad, which on one hand, will ensure the security of pilgrims on the yatra route and on the other, will also be used as small ambulances for them," a CRPF spokesperson said.
Also, amid a heightened threat from terrorists, the government has decided to monitor each vehicle carrying Amarnath pilgrims with radio frequency (RF) tag.
A joint control room will be set up for close coordination among different security agencies besides the Army, according to officials.
All vehicles carrying the Amarnath pilgrims will have one RF tag for its close monitoring for better security, an official said.
RF tag uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track object attached to it. An RF tag attached to an automobile can be used to track its progress.
A joint control room will be set up for better coordination between Jammu and Kashmir Police, paramilitary forces and the Army to ensure security during the two-month-long pilgrimage to the cave shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva in the Himalayas in Jammu and Kashmir, the official said.
Additional 22,500 paramilitary personnel are expected to be deployed along the entire route of the Amarnath pilgrimage, for which multi-tier security arrangements will be put in place.
A total of around 40,000 personnel, comprising J&K Police, paramilitary, National Disaster Response Force and the Army, are likely to be deployed during this year's pilgrimage.
Tracking of pilgrims' movement through satellites, installation of jammers, CCTV cameras and bulletproof bunkers, deployment of dog squads and quick reaction teams will be part of the security drill along pilgrimage routes, another official said.
Doppler radar, which will provide weather update every two hours, will be deployed for the benefits of pilgrims besides deployment of the quick reaction teams of the NDRF.
According to the estimates of various security agencies, there are about 200 active terrorists in the Kashmir Valley and recent trends show that terrorists are getting more brazen in their attacks.
So far, 1.5 lakh people have registered for undertaking the arduous pilgrimage. A total of 2.60 lakh pilgrims offered prayers at the shrine last year.
The Amarnath cave shrine is situated in a narrow gorge at the farther end of Lidder Valley in south Kashmir.
(With PTI inputs)