Jammu, Oct 10 (UNI) Katra, the holy town of Mata Vaishnodevi, has been put under a thick blanket of security ahead of the Navratra festival to ensure safety of pilgrims.
Talking about the preparations for the festival, divisional commissioner (Jammu) Sudhanshu Pandey today said tight security arrangements have been made for Navratra. The security forces would be deployed at all important religious places and all along the route to ensure an incident-free pilgrimage.
''Besides the mobilised forces, additional battalions of troops will keep a strict vigil in Katra town during the festivities,'' he said.
Extra security measures are being adopted following intelligence inputs regarding terrorist threats on religious places, as also disclosed by Union Minister for Home Affairs Shiv Raj Patil, a few days back.
Other arrangements for the convenience of pilgrims, whose number is expected to exceed 7.5 million by the end of this year, have also been satisfactorily done, he informed.
To make the festivities more lively, the divisional commissioner said cultural and sports events have also been organised at Katra.
An annual wrestling event, in which at least nine Pakistani wrestlers will take part, and an all India devotional song competition will also be organised during the celebrations.
Besides, cultural programmes, including 'jagran' by famous 'bhajan' singer Narinder Chanchal and skits will be the other attractions of the festival.