The annual Amarnath Yatra which began on Thursday was temporarily halted due to bad weather in the Valley. The route, which leads to the holy cave via Baltal and Pahalgam witnessed heavy rainfall.
Hundreds of pilgrims had reached Baltal base camp to start the 16-kilometer long trek to the shrine on Wednesday evening. However, they were stopped after heavy rainfall and prediction of inclement weather for the next 72 hours.
This year the Yatra will be conducted under the largest security cover as vehicles tagged with electromagnetic chips, bike and bullet-proof SUV police convoys and scores of bullet-proof bunkers have been deployed as a part the extensive security cover.
Earlier, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had decided to directly monitor the security arrangements along the route. A posse of over 40,000 armed CRPF and state police personnel have virtually dotted the yatra routes from Jammu– via Pahalgam and Baltal– with their overwhelming presence in armored vehicles.
Forces have also deployed a huge assortment of CCTV cameras and drones, assisted by mounted Army columns, to ensure that the yatra route is secured.
“Security forces have been given specific responsibility to sanitize routes and secure a select number of pilgrim vehicles by sandwiching them between bulletproof troop carriers,” a senior security official told PTI.