JAMMU: The security in and around the Jammu Railway Station was strengthened ahead of the commencement of annual Amarnath Yatra and a senior police officer on Monday assured pilgrims to join the pilgrimage without any fear, saying the security situation in the state was as good as in any other part of the country.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Railways, Ranjit Singh Sambyal also said that all incoming and outgoing trains would be checked along with the luggage of the passengers with the assistance of specially trained dog squad capable of detecting explosives.
The 46-day annual yatra is scheduled to begin from the twin route -- traditional Pahalgam track in Anantnag district and shortest Baltal track in Ganderbal district -- on July 1 and would conclude on August 15 coinciding with the Raksha Bandhan festival.
"We are expecting heavy rush of pilgrims during the yatra and have beefed up the security at the railway station in view of the threat perception though there is no specific input (about terrorist plan to target the pilgrims)," Sambyal told reporters at the main railway station here.
The officer, who led a joint drill of the government railway police and the Jammu and Kashmir Police to check the security arrangements, said the quick reaction teams at the entrance and exit points were strengthened.
"We are ready and fully satisfied with the security arrangements which were made in accordance with the standard operating procedure (SOP).
We want to convey to the intending pilgrims that there is no need to worry and they should join the pilgrimage as the situation in the state is as good as in any other part of the country," he said.
The SSP said a special sniffer dog squad would check all incoming and outgoing trains besides the luggage of the passengers without causing any inconvenience to them as the canines were trained to detect explosives.
A joint control room with representatives from all security agencies was established for the benefit of the pilgrims, he said.
He said the security of the railway platforms was strengthened and patrolling of the tracks intensified while a round-the-clock vigil would be maintained on all the people through CCTV cameras.
"The drill will continue on daily basis to check the security arrangements and plug any loophole," he said.
Meanwhile, the Traffic Department has divided the Jammu-Lakhanpur highway into 10 zones where suitable motorbikers would be deployed for assisting and helping the pilgrims to ensure hassle free movement of vehicles carrying the pilgrims, officials said.
In addition, special checkpoints would be established at all the link roads falling on the highway from Lakhanpur to Bari Brahamana, they said.
The officials said Inspector General of police, Traffic, Alok Kumar, along with SSP Traffic Rural Jammu, Mohan Lal Kaith, visited Lakhanpur -- the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir -- to review the traffic arrangements in connection with the yatra.
During the visit, IGP Traffic took stock of reception centre at Lakhanpur and directed the officers concerned to conduct one-time document checking of pilgrim vehicles and pasting of stickers to avoid any inconvenience to the devotees.