The Amarnath Yatra starts on July 1 and is expected to continue till August 15.
New Delhi: Intelligence agencies have cautioned that terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed could use Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to target the Amaranth Yatra particularly through the Baltal route. The threat perception and other details were discussed at length during the high-level security meeting on the yatra chaired by Union home minister Amit Shah during his Kashmir visit on Wednesday.
Highly-placed intelligence sources claimed that the threat of IEDs by Jaish to target security forces along the yatra was one of the main issues discussed during the home minister’s meeting in Srinagar. Top security officials confirmed that though the Jaish threat was much higher on the Baltal route of the Amarnath Yatra, adequate “security procedures” had been put in place on the second route from Pahalgam as well.
This year, almost one lakh security personnel are being deployed to secure the yatra route and for other security-related issues.
The Amarnath Yatra starts on July 1 and is expected to continue till August 15. The first batch of the pilgrims is likely to be flagged from Jammu on June 30.
Following fresh intelligence inputs, extra deployment of bomb and explosive detection units is being made on the Baltal route though sources claimed that they would be used on the second Pahalgam route as well.
During Mr Shah’s meeting on the yatra security, intelligence agencies also shared information regarding movement of militants in areas like Ganderbal, Nagabal and Kangan, primarily with the objective of targeting the yatra.
In 2017, eight pilgrims were killed while 19 other were injured when militants targeted their bus in Anantnag area.
As part of a detailed presentation given to the home minister, sources said it was also informed that majority of the 303 companies of Central paramilitary security forces would be used to secure the 268-km-long national highway to be used by the yatra convoys. The entire highway has been divided into a number of zones or sectors, each of which will be being headed by a senior security officer.
Sources said as many as six sensitive spots have been identified along the highway where extra deployment will be done.
Before passing of each convoy, that particular stretch of the highway would be sanitised by a road opening team which would include bomb detection units to specifically search for any IEDs.