Security tightened in Jammu and Kashmir ahead of pilgrimage season

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Poonch (Jammu and Kashmir), July 11(ANI): Jammu and Kashmir police officials and district administration have tightened security in Poonch District ahead of the annual Buddha Amarnath pilgrimage.

Every year, thousands of devotees from all walks of life and all religions take part in the pilgrimage.

This year with the number of pilgrims expected to exceed the count of previous years, the district administration and members of various communities residing in the area have decided to make special arrangements for the visitors.

A meeting was held to discuss the same on Sunday. "The aim of the meeting was to discuss the security arrangement of Buddha Amarnath. The topic of discussion also included about the impact of ongoing violence in this pilgrimage," said D. K. Choudhary, Commandant of 152 Battalion of the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

"Since the journey comes to an end in the main Pooch district so the meeting had been called to discuss in what manner the violence in Kashmir can affect this journey," he added.

The members present during the meet decided to deploy special security forces during the pilgrimage, which begins on August 10.

"As per the information received by me, Amarnath pilgrimage would take place here between August 10 to 25 with great pomp and show, regarding which I had called people from all religions," said Kuldip Lal Khajuria, Deputy Commissioner (DC), Poonch District.

"All of them gave me several suggestions which will be extremely helpful to make it successful," he added.

The locals in the area are all set to welcome devotees to their hometown and set examples of peaceful co-existence between various religions in the region.

"We want that the pilgrims coming here this year should witness the brotherhood that exists here. I believe the kind of brotherhood we have here in BuddhaJi temple, in main Poonch district, we want that maximum people should come here and participate in the journey," said Abdul Ahad Butt, a local.

"Budhha Amarnath is a very peaceful and pure place," he added.

The pilgrimage will conclude on August 25.

Thousands of Hindu devotees trek across the arduous hilly terrain to get a glimpse of Buddha Amarnath in the shrine, which is situated at Rajpura Mandi. (ANI)

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