Amarnath attack: Rajnath reviews security yet again

11 July 2017

Union minister of home affairs Rajnath Singh went into a huddle in the morning today with officials of his ministry and security agencies holding a security review in the wake of the militant attack that left seven Amarnath pilgrims dead and several others injured in Kashmir on Monday night.

The meeting was called to look into possible security lapses that may have led to the attack on a bus that was carrying pilgrims from Gujarat.

The meeting, which was attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, top officials of the home ministry, intelligence and paramilitary forces, took stock of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

A high-level central team led by minister of state for home Hansraj Ahir will visit Jammu and Kashmir to assess the security of the pilgrimage to the Himalayan shrine, after the worst attack on the annual pilgrimage since the year 2000.

Meanwhile, Director General of CRPF R R Bhatnagar has reached Srinagar to review the deployment of the central forces in the pilgrimage route.

Meanwhile, arrangements are being made for airlifting of the bodies of the victims of yesterday's attack to Gujarat.

Yesterday, a group of terrorists opened fire at a bus carrying pilgrims in the Anantnag district, in which seven from Gujarat, including six women, were killed and 19 were injured, thereby

The police and top government sources say the Gujarat registered bus, bearing registration number GJ09Z 9976, had violated rules for the pilgrimage, which state that no yatra vehicle should be on the highway after 7 pm as the security cover is withdrawn after that.

Police also said the bus was not a part of the Yatra convoy which is being provided elaborate security.

The 40-day annual yatra to the 3,880-metre high cave shrine of Amarnath commenced from both 28.2 km traditional Pahalgam route in south Kashmir's Anantnag district and 9.5 km Batal route in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir from 29 June and will end on 'Raksha Bandhan' on 7 August.

This year over 35,000 security personnel including police, CRPF, SSB, ITBP, BSF and army men were deployed for Yatra duty to ensure the safe passage of Yatris and smooth conduct of yatra.

Reports said security measures were tightened this year in view of intelligence inputs that militants were planning an attack on the yatra.

Security agencies had deployed Road Opening Parties (ROPs) on the highway stretch to prevent militant attacks.

''Besides Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) were deployed at some sensitive and strategic places to deal with any situation,'' he said adding drones and satellite tracking systems were put in place and CCTV cameras installed at sensitive places along Amarnath route to monitor the movement of people.

So far, over 1 lakh pilgrims have visited the cave shrine since the commencement of annual yatra on 29 June.

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