Security arrangements in place to ensure smooth Amarnath Yatra: DGP Dilbag Singh

Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh

JAMMU: Security forces have geared up to ensure a smooth and safe Amarnath Yatra, said J&K DGP Dilbag Singh on Tuesday, adding that the security situation in the Union Territory was normal and anti-terror operations have been intensified ahead of the Yatra’s commencement on June 30 after a two-year gap.

The 43-day annual pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine in Pahalgam will be conducted this year with strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols. In 2020 and 2021, the Yatra was conducted symbolically with just the mahants taking the holy mace to the Amarnath shrine in a chopper because of the pandemic; while in 2019, the pilgrimage was cancelled midway ahead of the nullification of Articles 370 and 35A in August that year.

Responding to a query about the recent civilian killings, the DGP said: We have been able to track down all the terrorists who kill civilians and security personnel. We have obtained sure leads about the killing of two RPF personnel and will very soon catch the culprits.” While some lesser-known outfits have claimed responsibility for the attack on the RPF personnel, all these outfits are offshoots of Lashkar-e-Taiba that operate on directions from Lashkar handlers based in Pakistan, the DGP told reporters on the sidelines of a function in Samba district.

Pakistan has been luring Kashmiri youth into picking up arms, and these recruits are trapped through terrorist activities by their handlers, the DGP said, adding that foreign terrorists are now using fake ID cards to hide their identities as security forces have found fake ID proofs from two recently-killed foreign terrorists.

Speaking about weapon smuggling, the DGP said, “Smuggling of arms and ammunition — either through land routes or airdropping using drones — is the new modus operandi of Pakistan. Security forces are monitoring and foiling all such terror bids.”

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