The smooth conduct of a Shoba Yatra on Janmashtami at Kishtwar on Wednesday will be a challenge for the government in the wake of communal violence that hit the area on August 9.
Another challenge for the administration will be to win back its credibility, which took a serious dent following the allegations of being inactive during the August 9 clashes. The government on August 9 shifted the Kishtwar DC and SP for their inept handling of the situation.
The local administration and police had held a series of meeting in past few days to finalise the arrangements for Janmashtami and Shobha Yatra.
"We will take all necessary steps to maintain law and order on Janmashtami and particularly during Shobha Yatra. Situation will not be allowed to go out of hand. We have sufficient police force to facilitate smooth conduct of Shobha Yatra and have made foolproof security arrangements," said Kishtwar SP Sanjay Kotwal.
He added that, "We are expecting around 10, 000 people."
Meanwhile, Kishtwar Sanatan Dharam Sabha convener Hansraj said, "The Shobha Yatra will start around 2pm from Gauri Shankar Mandir in Surkot and after covering a distance of around 1.5 km it will culminate at Ragunath Mandir, Kishtwar, around 5pm. Around 15,000 people are expected to take part in the yatra," he said.
"We held a meeting with deputy commissioner Basheer Ahmed Khan, Doda-Udhampur DIG Ashkoor Wani and Kishtwar SP Sanjay Kotwal on Tuesday. We gave them the details of the areas where services of the district administration and police are required for smooth and successful conduct of the festival. The administration has assured us that all arrangements regarding security, sanitation, medical facilities, drinking water and yatra route shall be put in place," he said.