Operation Shiva: How Indian Army thwarted a sure shot attack on the Amarnath Yatra
New Delhi, Aug 04: The Amarnath Yatra was called off amidst specific threats that were detected by the Intelligence agencies.
The Army said that an Improvised Explosive Device was found along the route of the Yatra, following which a decision was taken to call of the Yatra. The security forces launched 'Operation Shiva," after the intelligence indicated that the Jaish-e-Mohammad would be looking to target the Yatra in a bid to avenge the Balakot air strikes.
Immediately after the threats was assessed and the intelligence termed actionable, the Army launched anti-sabotage operations. The intelligence input suggested that the JeM was planning an attack on the Yatra and also on the security forces along the Srinagar-Baramulla national highway.
Further it was also stated that the outfit had prepared for a suicide attack on the lines of the Pulwama strike, in which 40 CRPF jawans were martyred. Further inputs were also trickling about the huge build up of terrorists along the border who were waiting to infiltrate into the Valley.
As part of 'Operation Shiva,' the roads to Chandawari and Baltal were covered by the paramilitary forces. The routes leading up to the cave were also covered and anti-sabotage operations carried out.
The threats were extremely specific in nature. We would have put the lives of pilgrims at risk had we not called off the Yatra, a top official informed OneIndia.
It may be recalled that intelligence reports had picked up information about the huge build up of terrorists along the India-Pakistan border.
Pakistan had violated the cease fire last week in a bid to push these terrorists into the Valley. The IB report speaks about at least 300 terrorists at the border, who are waiting to infiltrate into the Valley.
While around 250 have been stationed at the launch pads, the rest are awaiting orders to infiltrate.
Indian security forces said on Friday that they had recovered a Pakistan made mine and a huge cache of arms along the Amarnath Yatra route.
Searches were launched along the pilgrimage route after specific intelligence that Pakistan-based terrorists might target the Yatra using improvised explosive devices and attack pilgrims, Lt Gen Sarabjit Singh Dhillon said in a joint briefing by security forces here.
The forces launched a massive operation along the Amarnath Yatra route, during which a huge a cache of arms was recovered and it included a mine with a Pakistan Ordnance Factory stamp and an American sniper rifle M-24, he said.
Dhillon refused to give the exact location from where the recovery was made as the search operation was still going on.
He said the threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Jammu and Kashmir is more "pronounced" in the hinterland even as the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) remains "largely peaceful".
Regular infiltration attempts are being made by Pakistan-based terrorists but the Army is thwarting their bids at the LoC, he said.
On the reports of additional troops being sent to the Valley, Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh said security personnel were on regular duty during the year because of elections, among others, with no time to relax.
He said there were also "fresh inputs of increase in violence by terrorists" which made it necessary to "strengthen the counter intelligence grid" on the ground.
Refusing to give the exact number of additional troops being sent to the Valley, Singh said they will give on-ground troops some time to relax and strengthen the security system.