Union minister Hansraj Ahir said on Wednesday that the Centre is satisfied with the security arrangements for Amarnath yatra as more measures have been put in place following the terror attack that killed seven pilgrims.
He said several measure have been taken to beef up security for the pilgrimage in wake of the strike. The time of patrolling of Road Opening Parties (RoP) has been extended and there would be checking of every (yatra) vehicle. No vehicle without registration would be allowed to ply.
The drivers will also be given a note saying if something happens or if the vehicle breaks down, they should call the nearest point, the minister of state (home) said.
“We feel satisfied to learn that attempts have been made to take more security measures. To stop such attacks in the future...we assured the security agencies full support and we are satisfied after seeing the arrangements,” he told reporters at a press conference.
Union minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Jitendra Singh also accompanied Ahir.
Ahir said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Rajnath Singh yesterday asked the two ministers to visit Kashmir.
“We met the governor and the chief minister, discussed the situation with them and held an in-depth security review meeting with the officers of army, police, CRPF, BSF and other security agencies,” he said.
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Discussions took place over a number of issues, including on whether to increase security for the yatra or not.
“The central and state governments are very serious about the security of Amarnath yatra. The shadow of terror has been there since the last 30 years...security has always been in place and every year more measures are taken. The state police and all other forces have made proper arrangements,” he said.
The Union minister said the security agencies have been directed to plug loopholes, if any.
“We went to the camp from where yatra buses leave. We saw confidence and excitement on the pilgrims’ faces. They have no fear as they have seen the security measures taken for the yatra. We think security is adequate and if the need arises, more measures can be taken,” he said.
The Union minister said the way Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti handled the situation has inspired the whole country.
“She met the injured and spoke to them. The whole country has been inspired by it. The nation saw how a chief minister fulfilled her responsibility,” he said.
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The prime minister made quick arrangements for lifting the injured to their states, he said and termed the killing of seven pilgrims as very sad.
“Two patients are here. The doctors at SKIMS are doing a good job. The operation of an old woman, who was hit by a bullet in the abdomen, has been successful. All the injured are stable,” he said.
He expressed happiness over the condemnation of the attack by the people of Kashmir.
“Everyone has condemned this attack on innocent pilgrims. I feel happy that people in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in Srinagar, have condemned it and no one supported it,” he said.
He said it showed that even people were not with the terrorists now. The Union minister said they also met and congratulated the security forces involved in an encounter with militants in central Kashmir’s Budgam district in which three terrorists were killed this morning.