Security forces on high alert to counter possible attack on Amarnath Yatris

Security forces on high alert to counter possible attack on Amarnath Yatris

Sadhus wait to register themselves for the Amarnath Yatra at a base camp, in Jammu on Thursday. PTI

Highly placed officials said that intelligence agencies have intercepted several conversations between militants operating in Kashmir valley and across the border which suggested that they were planning attacks on the pilgrims taking part in the Yatra. "As the attention of the security forces is concentrated on the prevailing unrest in the valley, the militants may try to take advantage of the situation. Therefore, we have asked everyone to be on high alert," an official said.

The Central government has provided around 8,500 paramilitary force personnel-- 2,200 more than last year--  to ensure foolproof security during the Yatra. The security personnel have been deployed along the entire route to the cave shrine of Lord Shiva at a height of 3,888 metres in the south Kashmir Himalayas. "We have provided enough securitymen for peaceful completion of the pilgrimage," the official said.

Around 2.90 lakh pilgrims have been registered so far across the country. The Yatra would conclude on August 25. Curfew was clamped on Tuesday and army moved in to assist the civil administration in maintaining law and order after violent protests shook the valley. Barring Sopore and Pulwama, curfew was lifted temporarily in the Kashmir Valley to allow people to offer prayers at the Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar last night.

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