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Amarnath Yatra: JK police banking on a new safer route for pilgrims

Jammu: Security personnel keep strict vigil at Jammu-Srinagar Highway after the Amarnath Yatra resume from Jammu on Monday.PTI Photo(PTI7_11_2016_000259B)

Srinagar, Jun 11: To provide additional security to devotees taking the Amarnath pilgrimage this year, the Jammu and Kashmir police and paramilitary forces are banking on the new Srinagar-Qazigund highway to bypass stretches of Bijbehara and Awantipora that are vulnerable to militant attacks, The Economic Times reported.

The annual pilgrimage to the shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva in Amarnath begins on June 28.

 

We are banking on the four-lane highway from Qazigund to Srinagar to ensure pilgrims are not exposed to any threats, said a senior police official, who is a part of the pilgrimage management team. Speaking to the publication, the official said that authorities were bypassing areas where there was possibility of a militant attack.

The state police has sought additional 22,500 paramilitary personnel for deployment along the route of the pilgrimage.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the security arrangements for the Amaranth Yatra during his two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir recently. He was told that a multi-tier security will be in place to ensure no untoward incident takes place.

The shrine attracts lakhs of pilgrims each year. A total of 2.6 lakh pilgrims offered prayers at the shrine last year.