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'No increased threat to Amarnath yatra this year'

PTI  Srinagar, June 20, 2013
First Published: 14:54 IST(20/6/2013) | Last Updated: 10:11 IST(21/6/2013)

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah today said there was no increased threat perception to this year's Amarnath yatra compared to previous years and fears of attack as reported in the media.

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"While we will take all the regular precautions with a multi layer security grid, 'yatra attack feared' headlines are a gross exaggeration," Omar wrote on the microblogging site twitter.com.

The chief minister's remark comes in the wake of several high ranking officials, including Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde issuing statements about the Amarnath yatra being on militant radar this year.

Referring to the Unified Headquarters meeting here chaired by him on Wednesday, Omar said that the security officials told him that the threat perception to the annual pilgrimage has not increased this year.

"In fact, I asked a pointed question about whether the threats this year were higher than the previous years and the answer was a categorical no," the chief minister said.

With less than 10 days left for the start of annual Amarnath Yatra, the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government yesterday said there is a terror threat to the nearly two-month-long pilgrimage and that additional security forces are being deployed to provide safety.

"There is terror threat to Amarnath yatra," Shinde had said.

Shinde's assessment came even as the Jammu and Kashmir government declared the entire pilgrimage route in the state as "highly prone" to terrorist attacks and directed security forces to augment their vigil.

The Army on Monday said it has received inputs that terrorists might try to disrupt the yatra.

The security arrangements for the yatra also came up for a detailed review at the Unified Headquarters meeting chaired by chief minister Omar Abdullah in Srinagar.


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