JAMMU: As annual pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji shrine has started after a gap of two years amid high threat, 200 high-powered bulletproof vehicles have been deployed in sensitive locations along with security forces to detect explosives as well as other tasks to ensure safe and secure yatra in Jammu and Kashmir.
These vehicles, as per the sources, are equipped with a high-powered automatic mapping facility, and the ability to move easily in planes, forests, water as well as places on heights.
Besides, they said, the key specialization of these vehicles is to detect Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), which pose major threat to the yatra which began on June 29 from Jammu and next day from Baltal and Pahalgam base camps.
The yatra is progressing smoothly
Many of the 200 vehicles have “Deep Penetrating Radar (DPR) to detect IEDs on routes connecting Srinagar and Jammu to Shri Amarnath.
“If under attack, these vehicles cannot be damaged from the explosion of IED weighing nearly 25 kg,” claimed an official.
Amid the latest threat inputs regarding the use of grenades, sticky bombs, and IEDs; the security forces have been using these vehicles too along with high-tech gadgets, he said.
The official said that these vehicles were pressed into Jammu and Kashmir considering the 43-day Amarnath Yatra that started under high-security arrangements as Intelligence reports suggest a high threat to the annual pilgrimage that would culminate on August 11.
Security has also been tightened in Jammu and Kashmir with special emphasis on the use of over 130 sniffer dogs on the vehicle routes heading towards the Amarnath shrine.
The National Investigation Agency also informed the Central Government last week that Pakistan-based commanders of proscribed militant organisations are trying to carry out terror activities by way of targeting minorities, security personnel and religious pilgrimages.
Considering threats, over 200 drones are being used on twin routes of Pahalgam and Baltal to keep a tab on each and every activity, said the official, adding major threat is suspected from cadres of offshoots of proscribed terrorist organisations such as “The Resistance Front (TRF) and People Anti-Fascist Forces (PAFF)”.
The investigation has unearthed a deep-rooted conspiracy of Pakistan-based proscribed terrorist organisations joining hands in form of a united group and shifting their modus operandi by floating pseudo offshoot outfits portrayed as indigenous resistance groups, in whose name terrorist acts are being committed with an intention to claim deniability at the international level.
Almost double the companies of all security forces have been deployed in Jammu and Kashmir compared to the previous year for the security of Amarnath yatra.
High-tech gadgets like IED detectors and binoculars are being used “first time” during the annual pilgrimage, the official said, adding “these gadgets include some of them manufactured by Israel”.
For the first time, another officer in the CRPF said, an “integrated” effort is being put across all forces concerned including Army, CRPF, Jammu and Kashmir Police, Jammu and Kashmir administration and Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board members.
The Amarnath shrine pilgrimage to the 3,880-metre-high cave shrine of Lord Shiva, located in the upper reaches of the Himalayas, is held from the twin routes of Pahalgam and Baltal.
The J&K Government had cancelled the annual Amarnath pilgrimage due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation in 2020 and 2021 after a discussion with Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board members while it was cut short by about 15 days in 2019 due to August 5 decisions of the Central Government.