Security personnel on high alert ahead of Amarnath yatra

The Nunwan Base Camp in Pahalgam has been converted into a fortress ahead of the commencement of the annual Amarnath yatra, which will begin on Thursday, as security for this year’s pilgrimage was heightened to thwart any rerun of last year’s terrorist attack that left eight pilgrims dead and several injured.

Security forces — mainly police and CRPF personnel — have been deployed in large numbers around the Nunwan Base Camp located at the entry of this buzzing tourist town known as the ‘valley of shepherds’ in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

The first security checkpoint was established and activated near the Langanbal bridge where police personnel check every vehicle entering or leaving Pahalgam, which serves as the base camp for the pilgrimage to the holy cave of Amarnath in the mountainous region of south Kashmir.

Security personnel have been deployed on both sides of the Lidder stream to thwart any attempt of daredevilry by terrorists.

The next security barricade is adjacent to the Nunwan Base Camp where hi-tech gadgetry will be used to maintain strict vigil.

CCTV cameras, metal detectors and X-ray machines have been installed to prevent smuggling in of contraband. Besides, every person crossing into the tourist resort will be frisked.

Terrorists, who have publicly assured of inflicting no harm on the devotees in the past, carried out a deadly attack on a bus last year, killing eight Amarnath pilgrims in Anantnag.

“We do not want to leave anything to chance. It was a misfortune that terrorists succeeded in targeting a bus last year but we are making all out efforts to ensure that it is a smooth sailing this year,” a senior police official said.

Several police, paramilitary and intelligence officers have set up base around Pahalgam to ensure pilgrims are kept out of harm’s way.

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