CRPF rules out security lapse in militant attack on Amarnath yatris

Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra and Army Chief General Bipin Rawat Tuesday reviewed security situation and the yatra security in the Valley.

Published: 11th July 2017 08:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th July 2017 09:42 PM   |  A+A-

Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti consoles an Amarnath pilgrim who survived the Anantnag militant attack before she was airlifted to New Delhi at the airport in Srinagar on Tuesday. Dy CM Nirmal Kumar is also seen. (PTI)

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: After the militant attack that left seven Amarnath yatris dead and 19 others injured, CRPF top official ruled out security lapse while Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra and Army Chief General Bipin Rawat Tuesday reviewed security situation and the yatra security in the Valley.

“The militant attack on Amarnath yatri bus at Botengoo in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Monday evening was not a security lapse,” Special DG CRPF S N Srivastava told New Indian Express.

He said the bus was not part of the yatra convoy. “When the attack took place the yatra deployment (Road Opening Party) had been withdrawn”.

CRPF is providing security to yatra convoys and is also part of ROPs on highway and yatra routes.

According to Special DG CRPF, the bus was travelling after ROP had been withdrawn. “If it had travelled in yatra convoy, then the yatris would have been safe”.

“Everybody including all those people, who are coming for yatra, have to be responsible,” he said.

The 40-day annual yatra to the 3,880 metre high cave shrine of Amarnath  commenced from both 28.2 km traditional Pahalgam route in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district and 9.5 kms Batal route in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir from June 29 and will end on 'Raksha Bandhan' on August 7.

Asked whether additional measures would be taken for yatra security,  Srivastava said, “We have already deployed enough security men for safety of yatris. Sufficient number of security men are on the ground and there was no need for deployment of more troops”.

He said the security personnel would have to remain extra vigilant to thwart any attack.

Earlier, Governor N N Vohra, who is also chairman of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), chaired an emergency yatra security review meeting at Rajbhavan this morning.

The meeting was attended by senior civil, Army, police, paramilitary forces, and intelligence agencies.

Sources said the security officials briefed Governor about the militant attack on yatris and loopholes in the security arrangements.

Governor directed the officials to critically review the yatra security arrangements and ensure strict enforcement of security arrangements for smooth conduct of the pilgrimage.

The 40-day annual yatra to the 3,880 metre high cave shrine of Amarnath  commenced from both 28.2 km traditional Pahalgam route in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district and 9.5 kms Batal route in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir from June 29 and will end on 'Raksha Bandhan' on August 7.

This year over 35,000 security personnel including police, CRPF, SSB, ITBP, BSF and army men were deployed for yatra duty to ensure safe passage of yatris and smooth conduct of yatra.

The drones and satellite tracking systems were put in place and CCTV cameras installed at sensitive places along Amarnath route to monitor the movement of people.

Governor directed the security officials that there should be no security lapse in future and safety and security of yatris should be ensured at all costs.

He advised the security officials to maintain heightened surveillance and close co-ordination during the remaining period of the yatra.

Meanwhile, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat arrived here to today review the overall security situation in the State after militant attack on yatris.

After his arrival, he was briefed about the prevailing situation in the Valley by GoC 15 Corps Lt Gen J S Sandhu.

Later, he chaired a high level security meeting at Badamibagh Cantonment in Srinagar to assess the prevailing security situation.

General Rawat condemned the militant attack on innocent Amarnath pilgrims, and vowed that the security forces will counter this menace with greater resolve.

He exhorted on the security officials and troops to maintain pressure on the militants and don’t give them a breathing space.

The security review meeting among others was attended by GoC 15 Corps Lt Gen J S Sandhi, J&K Chief Secretary B B Vyas, J&K Director General of Police S P Vaid and other top security officials.

The Army chief later called Governor N N Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and discussed the prevailing security situation in State.

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