Operation Shiva to combat terror threat to Amarnath yatris

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New Delhi, June 19: There is terror threat to Amarnath yatra and all measures are being taken to ensure security of pilgrims, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said today. The authorities have made arrangements to protect the yatris under Operation Shiva.

Security has been beefed up for the Amarnath Yatra commencing from June 28 as the Army had received inputs that terrorists might try to disrupt the Yatra. Nearly 60 additional companies of CRPF are being called for providing security to the pilgrimage.

The Jammu and Kashmir government has made multi-dimensional plans for the security of the yatris. Specific inputs and directions have been given to the Road Opening Party (RPO) for the surveillance of the pilgrimage route.

The government has also fixed timings for the passage of convoys through various points enroute the 300-km long Jammu-Srinagar Highway.

Meanwhile, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, Lt General KT Parnaik has said that it was difficult to gauge where from these threats were emanating and how the terrorists might try to attack the pilgrimage.

"Intelligence inputs which we are receiving suggest that they (terrorists) have intentions to disrupt the Yatra," Parnaik had told reporters on Monday.

The General said the forces need to maintain a high degree of alert and foil any such attempt made by the anti-national elements.

"Precautions are being taken. We have meetings in unified command and in operation groups. We also have meetings under Operation Shiva -- the operation named for the security of the Amarnath Yatra -- we discuss the security arrangements for the pilgrimage and plans are made on how to secure the Yatra," he said.

"The security of the track, as you know, is the concern of the CRPF and JK police. Army is stationed near the shrine. But we maintain surveillance from all the four sides," he said.

Age limit for yatris

The minimum and upper age limit for the Amarnath Yatra has been fixed at 13 years and 75 years. A health fitness certificate issued by a competent authority is mandatory for yatra registration, as per the guidelines set by the Supreme Court. Already over 2 lakh have registered for the annual yatra.

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