With a heightened threat perception to Amarnath yatra, the home ministry has decided to take unprecedented security measures to ensure that every vehicle carrying Amarnath pilgrims should be equipped with Radio-frequency identification (RFID), which can verify the vehicles measures to protect pilgrims during the 60-day pilgrimage to the holy cave in Jammu & Kashmir, PTI reported.
The Amarnath cave shrine is situated in a narrow gorge at the farther end of Lidder valley in south Kashmir.
“All vehicles carrying Amarnath pilgrims will have one RF (radio frequency) tag for its close monitoring for better security,” a senior official said.
To ensure better coordination among the forces, the home ministry also said that a control room would be set up at the base camps, in Baltal and Pahalgam. According to reports, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has formed a special motorcycle squad as part of its efforts to ensure foolproof security during the upcoming annual Amarnath Yatra.
“Keeping in view the convenience and security of pilgrims, the CRPF has prepared a special motorcycle squad, which on one hand, will ensure the security of pilgrims on the yatra route and on the other, will also be used as small ambulances for them,” a CRPF spokesperson said.
Tracking of pilgrims’ movement through satellites, installation of jammers, Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and bulletproof bunkers, deployment of dog squads and quick reaction teams will be part of the security drill along pilgrimage routes, another official said. According to the estimates of various security agencies, there are about 200 active terrorists in the Kashmir Valley. The government has decided to extend the validity of temporary prepaid mobile connections taken by pilgrims during the Amarnath pilgrimage, beginning June 28, from seven days to 10 days.
An additional 22,500 paramilitary personnel would be deployed along the entire route of the Amarnath pilgrimage, for which multi-tier security arrangements will be put in place. Even Doppler radars have been deployed for weather update every two hours for the benefits of pilgrims. A total of around 40,000 personnel, comprising J&K Police, paramilitary, National Disaster Response Force and the Army, are likely to be deployed during this year’s pilgrimage.
So far, 1.5 lakh people have registered for undertaking the arduous pilgrimage. A total of 2.60 lakh pilgrims offered prayers at the shrine last year, Zee News reported.