New Delhi: Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla on Friday chaired a high-level meeting to discuss the current level of preparedness for the upcoming Amarnath Yatra as well as the security threats.
The meeting was attended by the senior officials from the Ministry, the Intelligence Bureau, the Indian Army, CRPF chief Kuldeep Singh, and his BSF counterpart Pankaj Singh while officials from the Jammu and Kashmir administration and police and members of the Shrine Board participated through video conferencing.
Officials from the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) and Ministry of Communication also participated.
During the meeting, the security issues were discussed threadbare with all stakeholders and it was learnt that Bhalla asked them to prepare a full-proof security cover for all pilgrims, especially from the IEDs and drone attacks, officials said.
It is also learnt that the Home Secretary has directed the NTRO and the CRPF to install an anti-drone system along the route up to the holy cave site while the drones of the security forces will keep an eye on the entire route. The surveillance from the helicopters will also be maintained from the base camps at Baltal and Pahalgam to the shrine.
The upcoming Amarnath Yatra has become a challenging task for central security forces in wake of several incidents of targeted killings in the last few months by terrorists, the officials said.
Security forces have been directed to increase counter-terror operations and also keep a strict vigil on the Line of Control and the International Border
Deployment of the security forces was also discussed during this meeting and it is expected that nearly 350 companies of the CRPF, the BSF, the ITBP, and the SSB will be deployed during this pilgrimage, officials aware of the development said.
They also said that the preparedness for the annual pilgrimage, which is resuming after a gap of two years, has also been discussed regarding the facilities to be provided for a huge number of the pilgrims. Officials from the J&K administration updated the Union Home Secretary about the steps taken in this regard, they added.
They also informed the Home Secretary about the preparations being made for the pilgrims such as prefabricated tent townships and medical facilities at the base camp and also along the routes.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah will also review the preparedness made by the J&K government and security aspects by end of this month or the beginning of June.