SRINAGAR: In the wake of the recent surge in militant violence in Kashmir Valley, the authorities have decided to deploy 129 companies of CRPF for the security of Amarnath-bound pilgrims.
“As many as 79 CRPF companies would arrive from outside the state for yatra security and over 50 CRPF companies stationed in Valley would also be deployed,” the CRPF spokesman in Srinagar, Rajesh Yadav, told The New Indian Express.
The 40-day annual yatra will commence from either routes — the traditional Pahalgam route (28.2 km long) in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district and the Batal route (9.2 km)in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir from June 29. The yatra will end on August 7.
“However, we are concerned about stone pelting incidents during the yatra. We are also aware that the militants may attempt to carry out IED blasts targeting the secuirty forces or the yatris,” Inspector General (IG) of CRPF Ravideep Singh Sahi said. He added that random firing could also be a possibility.
“The Road Opening Parties (ROPs) will be strengthened. The law and order component wil be intensified in the vulnerable and flashpoint areas. Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) will be deployed at sensitive and strategic places to deal with any situation,” he said. In addition, each vehicle will be provided with a security escort and CCTV cameras are beng installed to monitor the movement of people and vehicles. Regarding the threat of attacks on vehicles carrying Amarnath pilgrims, he said, “We have identified the flash points, based on past experiences. We will deploy CRPF men in vulnerable areas.” The chief executive officer of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, Umang Narula, said 24 rescue teams will be deployed during the yatra.
He said these teams will be drawn from the J&K Armed Police, State Disaster Response Force and the National Disaster Relief Force and will be equipped with all rescue equipment. He added that 35 dog squads will be deployed to carry out anti-sabotage checks and other security measures.