Police frisk people at a base camp before they head toward the cave shrine in Amarnath (PTI)
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, union minister Hansraj Ahir said in Srinagar today. The duration of patrols has been extended and every vehicle will be checked, he said. Drivers will be given contact details of the nearest security force that can react during emergency.
"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," Mr Ahir told reporters at a news conference.
Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh also accompanied Mr Ahir. Mr Ahir said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh yesterday asked the two ministers to visit Jammu and 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.
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 for 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," Jitendra Singh said.
"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.
Jitendra Singh 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.
PM Modi made quick arrangements for taking the injured people to their states, Jitendra Singh said. "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 people are stable," he said.
"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.