Security reviewed for Amarnath pilgrimage

Jammu: Senior police officers met here today to review security arrangements for the forthcoming annual Hindu pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave shrine in Himalayan heights of Jammu and Kashmir. The yatra begins June 28.

The police spokesman said the meeting was presided over by the inspector general of police (IGP) Jammu zone to take stock of the security arrangements made from Lakhanpur (the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir) up ahead.

According to the spokesman, the officers also reviewed the deployment of security personnel all along the route of the shrine for which 75 additional companies of para-military police (about 7,500 personnel) have been placed at the disposal of the overseeing officers.

The meeting discussed the traffic arrangements all along the route as also on highway and through towns where pilgrims would be moving.

“The meeting emphasised on effective coordination between the police and civil administration and between the officers of police, security, traffic and magistracy being deployed on ground,” the spokesman said.

“It was decided in the meeting that joint yatra control rooms would be established in each district to deal with the issues relating to yatra (pilgrimage),” the spokesman added.

According the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) over two lakh pilgrims from all over the country have already registered themselves for the pilgrimage that starts from June 28 for 55 days.

The shrine is devoted to Lord Shiva, where a stalagmite of snow, known as “Shivlingam”, is the main attraction for the pilgrims, who come for the trek to the shrine from all across the country.

The cave shrine is located at the height of 3,888 metres above sea level and it has two routes leading to it, one from Pahalgam, about 100 km, and another from Baltal, 110 km from Srinagar. While it takes a day or two from Baltal, the route is about four to five days’ trek from Pahalgam.

According to mythology, Lord Shiva narrated the tale of immortality to his consort Parvati in the cave, and thus the cave came to be known as “Amarnath”, which means immortality.

Over five lakh pilgrims from all over the country visited the cave shrine in 2012.

– IANS

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