Tracking chips will be installed in vehicles bound for the annual Amarnath Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir, scheduled to commence next week, as part of foolproof security arrangements to ensure an incident-free pilgrimage.
“Special counters have been set up at Lakhanpur, the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir bordering Punjab. All the vehicles carrying the Amarnath pilgrims will be installed with tracking chips to keep an eye on their movement,” Inspector General of Police, Jammu, S D Singh Jamwal told PTI.
The 60-day yatra to the 3,880 metre high holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas is scheduled to begin on June 28. The first batch of the pilgrims will leave Bagwati Nagar base camp from here on June 27. Jamwal said such a technology was being used for the first time which would help the police to keep an eye on the vehicles once they leave for the twin base camps of Baltal in Ganderbal and Pahalgam in Anantnag – the twin tracks leading to the cave shrine which houses the naturally formed ice ‘Shivlingam’.
“Like in the past, the pilgrims will leave the base camp here in a convoy and through chip tracking, we can ensure that no vehicle is left behind or loses its way,” Jamwal said.
Asserting that all necessary security arrangements have been made for the yatra this year, the IGP asked the pilgrims to visit the shrine without any fear.
“We have made elaborate security arrangements. All security agencies, including the Army, police, paramilitary forces and state and central intelligence agencies are working together. All the roads and tracks from Lakhanpur to the cave shrine have been covered,” he said.
The police official said security forces were working round-the-clock to foil any nefarious design of the subversive elements.
“We are ready to deal with any situation,” the IGP said, adding the police are working with various agencies and government departments to make the pilgrimage a memorable one for the yatris.
Jamwal said security around the base camp in the city and the temples where the ‘sadhus’ (seers) are putting up has also been strengthened.
In addition, he said a plan has also been chalked out to thwart infiltration of terrorists from across the International Border and Line of Control (LoC).
“Special checking points have been set up on the roads leading to border areas, while the police stations and posts have been strengthened,” the officer said.
He added that the police were also cooperating with the Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board and have worked out a plan to help the pilgrims in distress.