The first batch of Amarnath Yatra pilgrims on Wednesday left from Jammu's base camp in Bhagwant Nagar amid heightened security in wake of terrorist attack threat. The pilgrims will reach to the camps of Baltal in Ganderbal and Nunwan-Pahalgam in militancy-hit Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir by Wednesday.
The pilgrims will be escorted to the twin base camps by security forces in a fleet of vehicles. From their onwards, they will start their journey on Thursday to the 3,880-metre high cave shrine of “Baba Amarnath” on foot.
“Amarnath Yatra is a very significant annual event. With cooperation of public, all security agencies & development agencies we have put a scheme in place and are trying our best to address concerns of the yatris and ensure smooth flow of traffic,” ANI quoted Vijay Kumar, Advisor to J&K Governor as saying.
The security forces have been asked to stay extra vigilant in wake of a threat of terrorist attack on Amarnath Yatra pilgrims.
"All security arrangements have been made. We're using latest technology&vehicles, manpower has been increased as compared to last year. There's no specific threat as such, but we're ready for any kind of attack" said IG CRPF Jammu Sector on security arrangements made for the Yatra.
Meanwhile, a day before the first batch of Amarnath Yatra pilgrims flagged off, a purported audio of Hizbul Mujahideen operational commander Riyaz Naikoo, talking about the Amarnath Yatra had surfaced. In the audio, Naikoo is heard saying, “Amarnath yatris are not our target, they have come here to perform their religious rituals. They are our guests.”