Advisor, DGP review security arrangements at Holy Cave, Baltal
STATE TIMES NEWS SRINAGAR: Even as special prayers were on Sunday held at Pahalgam on the occasion of ‘Ashad-Purnima’ — marking the traditional commencement of the annual Amarnath yatra in the south Kashmir Himalayas, the Advisor to Lt Governor R.R Bhatnagar accompanied by Director General Police, J&K Dilbag Singh visited the Holy Cave and Baltal to review the security arrangements. “Chanting Vedic hymn, ‘Bhoomi-Pujan’, ‘Navgrah-Pujan’, ‘Chhari-Pujan’ and ‘Dhawajarohan’ ceremonies were performed at Pahalgam today on the auspicious occasion of ‘Ashad-Purnima’ that marks the commencement of annual pilgrimage of Swami Amarnath Ji, traditionally,” the custodian of the ‘Chhari-Mubarak’ (holy mace of Lord Shiva) said in a statement here. He said these are the important rituals prior to the main course of the annual pilgrimage, which is likely to start later this month.
Yatri Niwas to be used as base camp in Jammu for Amarnath Yatra Jammu: The Yatri Niwas at Bhagwati Nagar here would be used as the base camp for the upcoming pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, an official said. The yatri Niwas is being prepared as the base camp for the Amarnath yatra with all necessary security arrangements, he said. The Jammu and Kashmir administration had decided to allow only 500 pilgrims per day by road from Jammu to the 3,880-metre high holy cave shrine of Amarnath during the yatra, which is likely to start from the Baltal track for two weeks later this month. Earlier, the yatra was scheduled to commence from the twin tracks of Pahalgam in Anantnag and Baltal in Ganderbal on June 23 but was delayed due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic. The Yatri Niwas, which served as the base camp for the annual pilgrimage in Jammu, was initially turned into administrative quarantine in March and later upgraded to a 500-bedded COVID care centre with all the required facilities to lower the pressure on the hospitals. The official said the sprawling complex would be utilised as the base camp during the yatra period and later turned back into the COVID care centre.
“The sound of conch shell reverberated the whole atmosphere. Keeping in view the COVID-19 pandemic, only selected number of Sadhus accompanied the holy mace from Dashnami Akhara Srinagar to Pahalgam,” he said. The custodian said COVID-19 is an extraordinary situation and extraordinary measures need to be taken to meet this challenge. People of Jammu and Kashmir irrespective of their caste, creed or religion have been cooperating, assisting and encouraging the pilgrims and Sadhus who come here from across the country and even abroad for this annual pilgrimage,” he said. He said prayers were also offered at the historic Martand Temple in Mattan area of the Anantnag district.
Earlier in the day, Advisor to Lt. Governor R.R Bhatnagar and the Director General Police, J&K Dilbag Singh visited Shri Amarnathji Cave, Baltal to review the security arrangements for the upcoming Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra 2020. The Advisor and the DGP first visited Shri Amarnath Ji cave where they offered prayers and on their return chaired joint officers meeting at Baltal. ADGP CID R.R Swain, DIG CKR, Suleiman Choudhary, Police Yatra Officer SSP Yougal Kumar Manhas, SSP Anantnag Sandeep Chowdhary, SSP Ganderbal Khalil Ahmad Poswal, Incharge Joint Police Control Room SSP Gh Jeelani Wani ,CO CRPF Ved Prakash Tripathi DySP Traffic, Faheem Punjabi, SDPO Kangan Tahir Amin and other officers attended the meeting. Advisor Bhatnagar stressed for enhanced coordination among the forces for smooth conduct of Shri Amarnath Yatra. He emphasized for identifying the sensitive places and strengthening the security grid. The Advisor urged the officers to work with synergy to ensure successful and smooth conduct of Yatra. Bhatnagar complimented the police and special forces for an outstanding performance. He emphasized for creating conducive environment to make the Shri Amarnath Yatra a success. Addressing the meeting , the DGP directed the officers that fine tuned plans should be put in action in such a way that required timelines as per Amarnath Yatra schedule are met well in time and adequate arrangements are provided for the Yatra. He said that whatever support in the shape of logistics and manpower is required have been placed at their disposal for smooth conduct of the Yatra. He said that all busy places, including Langars, should be brought under security cover and intelligence gathering accelerated and shared for making preventive measures. Round the clock functioning of joint control rooms and supervision of arrangements by the senior officers should be put in place, DGP added. The DGP also asked for strengthening the communication network and maintain liaison about the arrival and departure of pilgrims. He said that all necessary arrangements be placed to facilitate for the pilgrimage keeping in view the challenges of COVID-19. Singh said that quick response teams should be put on high alert so that necessary help and assistance be provided to the pilgrims as and when required. He said that sufficient manpower from different security agencies is being put on the pilgrimage duty to strengthen the deployment grid. The DGP also interacted with the Jawans and appreciated their commitment and dedication for safeguarding the interests of people and the country. SSP Anantnag, SSP Ganderbal, officers from CRPF and other jurisdictional officer apprised about the security arrangements put in place in the areas under their command for smooth and peaceful conduct of the Yatra.
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