Drones, Radio Track Tags To Monitor Amarnath Yatra That Begins June 30

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla chaired and reviewed the security preparedness for the Amarnath Yatra starting June 30.

Drones, Radio Track Tags To Monitor Amarnath Yatra That Begins June 30

Amarnath Yatra is resuming after two years.

New Delhi:

The Ministry of Home Affairs has reviewed preparedness for the annual Hindu pilgrimage Amarnath Yatra, reopening for pilgrims after a gap of two years, amid a series of targeted attacks on migrant workers and members of the minority community in Jammu and Kashmir.

"Resuming the Amarnath pilgrimage is a challenging task as Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed several incidences of targeted killings in the last few months by terrorists," a senior officer has told NDTV.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla chaired and reviewed the security preparedness for the Amarnath Yatra starting June 30.

The Ministry has also sanctioned 120 companies to assist local police. Also, drones would be used to keep surveillance along yatra routes - Baltal and Pahalgam.

"This year for security purpose each yatra would be given Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags," said an officer on ground.

The meeting was organised almost a month after Home Secretary's day-long visit to the region in which he took stock of the preparedness of the Amarnath Yatra. Mr Bhalla visited Jammu and Kashmir on April 15.

Officials in the government indicate that Union Home Minister Amit Shah is also expected to hold a security review meeting very soon regarding the pilgrimage after the second round of review-meet is completed by Mr Bhalla.

The annual pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine located at the upper reaches of Jammu and Kashmir could not be carried out in 2020 and 2021 due to Coronavirus pandemic while it was cut short in 2019 just before the abrogation of Article 370.

Directors General of the CRPF and the BSF Kuldip Singh and Pankaj Singh, respectively, along with Border Road Organisation officers, participated physically in meeting while officials from J&K joined virtually, including DGP Dilbagh Singh.

There has been a spurt in attacks on non-Muslims and outsiders living in Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370, which accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir, in August 2019.

On Thursday, terrorists killed a Kashmiri Pandit, Rahul Bhat, in Budgam district.

Bhat is the second Kashmiri Pandit to have been killed by terrorists in the last seven months.

A prominent member of the Kashmiri Pandit community, chemist Makhan Lal Bindroo, was shot dead by terrorist on October 6 last year in Srinagar.

As many as 14 people belonging to Jammu and Kashmir's minority Hindu community, including Kashmiri Pandits, have been killed by militants in various parts of Kashmir between August 2019 and March 2022.

Those targeted included prominent businessmen, sarpanchs and block development council members.

As many as 439 terrorists and 109 security personnel were killed in 541 terror incidents in Jammu and Kashmir after Article 370 was repealed on August 5, 2019 till March this year, according to data given by the government to Parliament.

.