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Securing the Amarnath Yatra to stopping targeted killings: Agencies have their task cut out

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Terror groups are not only planning to target the Yatra, but are also carrying out targeted killings to create a scare among the people so that they refrain from attending the Amarnath Yatra

New Delhi, Jun 04: Jammu and Kashmir has been witnessing a worrisome trend in which there have been targeted killings. High-level meetings have been held to discuss the situation and the security planners have decided to involved the local level Station House Officers more closely to solve this issue.

Securing the Amarnath Yatra to stopping targeted killings: Agencies have their task cut out

While the targeted killings are clearly a ploy to create panic and scare the minorities, officials OneIndia spoke with say that it is also to do with the fact the Amarnath Yatra is soon approaching.

In this backdrop the the security forces have learnt that several pistols and sticky IEDs have been smuggled into Jammu and Kashmir. This has raised alarm bells as this comes at a time when the Amarnath Yatra is set to take place in the final week of June.

The official cited above said that while trying to dissuade pilgrims from attending the Yatra is one of the reasons for such targeted killings the other is to counter the government's attempts of restoring normalcy in the Valley.

On June 3, the Srinagar Police registered a case against some groups including the banned Sikhs for Justice for circulating anti-national messages and promoting enmity between the two states.

"It has been reliably learnt that some persons/groups which include Sikhs for Justice have been disseminating anti national messages ahead of the upcoming Amarnath Yatra and are indulging in activities promoting enmity between different religious groups," a statement by the police read.

Securing the Amarnath Yatra to stopping targeted killings: Agencies have their task cut out

The Yatra is set to begin on June 30 and is being held after a gap of two years. The Union Home Ministry is ensuring that no stone is unturned so that the Amarnath Yatra passes off smoothly.

Terror groups are not only planning to target the Yatra, but are also carrying out targeted killings to create a scare among the people so that they refrain from attending the Amarnath Yatra, the official cited above said.

Considering these aspects, the government has decided to insure every pilgrims for Rs 5 lakh and also give them all Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. This was earlier given only to vehicles.

The security forces have their job cut out as Intelligence assessments clearly suggest that the Pakistan backed terror groups would look to continue with the targeted killings. In addition to this the supply of pistols to the remotest areas of Jammu and Kashmir is an indicator that these terrorists would operate as lone wolves and carry out killings in the Valley. A report in the Times of India while citing an official said that huge consignments of pistols, including US made Canik-TP9 have been delivered in many parts of the Valley to create fear.

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