Terrorist attacks on Amarnath yatris feared | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Terrorist attacks on Amarnath yatris feared

The two routes to the Amarnath cave are susceptible to attacks by militants, the Jammu and Kashmir government has stated when the annual journey to the holy shrine is supposed to start on June 28, Toufiq Rashid reports.

delhi Updated: Jun 20, 2013 01:50 IST
Toufiq Rashid

The two routes to the Amarnath cave are susceptible to attacks by militants, the Jammu and Kashmir government has stated when the annual journey to the holy shrine is supposed to start on June 28.

“Considering the security scenario, the government has directed security agencies to take action according to their standard operating procedures,” the statement on the website of the state home department said.

Northern Command chief Lt Gen KT Parnaik had on Monday said, “Militants planned to disrupt the yatra.”

The government has directed the army to do aerial surveillance on the routes. Security agencies have also been asked to deploy people at yatra camps, particularly at the cave, to check “unwanted activities and suspicious characters”.

Sources say the army is planning to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and has put in place measures under a special operation called Operation Shiva for a secure 55-day yatra.

However, the army has said its role has remained unchanged. “We have always assisted the government and will continue to do so. We are in a state of readiness,” said army spokesman Col Naresh Vij.

In 2000, the pilgrims had come under heavy militant attack.

The yatra begins at two places — Pahalgam and Baltal — and it is a 46-km trek to the shrine.

New AWS installed

The Jammu and Kashmir government, in collaboration with the Met department, has installed advanced weather monitoring systems (AWS) at six important sites on the route to the Amarnath cave to give hourly weather updates.

While AWSs were installed at three places, the government has installed three additional AWSs, besides weather display boards at many places on the route.