Amarnath Yatra: 10 per cent dip in pilgrims owing to terror threat
The Amarnath Yatra which began amidst tight security has witnessed a dip in the numbers owing to the unrest in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. There has been a 10 per cent drop in the number of pilgrims when compared to last year.
Last year too had witnessed a low number of pilgrims. In fact it was one of the lowest number standing at 2.2 lakh. This year around the number has dipped by 8 per cent.
The major reason being attributed to this dip in numbers is due to the security concerns in the Valley. Terrorist groups such as the Lashkar-e-Tayiba had threatened to disrupt the yatra and this led to the dip in numbers.
This year the security for the yatra was doubled when compared to last year. Last year there were 11,500 personnel of the Central Armed Police Force guarding the yatra. This year the number stands at 21,000 personnel.
A source in the Union Home Ministry which is monitoring the situation says that the threat perception is particularly high for those who reached the place without registering themselves to visit the shrine through the shorter 14 kilometre Baital route. Security officials feel that these yatris need to be sanitised before they are cleared. Terrorists are likely to try and strike mayhem by posing themselves as pilgrims of this nature, the officer also added.
Meanwhile security is at an exceptional high at the yatra. The security forces are using satellite imagery to monitor the yatra. Apart from them several drones and CCTV cameras are in place to ensure that there is nothing untoward that takes place during the pilgrimage.