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Annual Amarnath Yatra Begins From Jammu Amidst High Security

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 1
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| June 27 , 2018 , 08:15 IST

The annual Amarnath Yatra pilgrimage began on Wednesday from Jammu amidst heightened security due after 9 Amarnath Yatra pilgrims were killed and 19 injured in a terrorist attack last year on July 10 while they were on their way to the famous shrine.

The first batch of pilgrims for the Amarnath Yatra was flagged off from the Jammu base camp by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary BVR Subramanyam, and advisors to the Governor, BB Vyas and Vijay Kumar.

"Amarnath Yatra is a very significant annual event. With cooperation of public, all security agencies and development agencies we have put a scheme in place and are trying our best to address concerns of the yatris and ensure smooth flow of traffic," said Vijay Kumar, advisor to the Jammu and Kashmir Governor.

Inspector General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Jammu Sector Abhay Vir Chauhan said that while there has been no specific threat, the security forces are prepared for any kind of attack.

"All security arrangements have been made. We're using latest technology and vehicles, manpower has been increased as compared to last year. There's no specific threat as such, but we're ready for any kind of attack," said the CRPF IG.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat had personally visited the Baltal Base Camp on Monday to review the security arrangements for the Amarnath Yatra.

Around 2 lakh pilgrims have reportedly registered for the Yatra.

The Yatra is taking place less than 10 days after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti resigned after BJP withdrew from the PDP coalition government in the state, leaving the state under Governor's rule.