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Home minster reviews security, Yatra arrangements on his maiden official visit

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Srinagar, Jun 26: Union Home Minister Amit Shah Wednesday chose the state for his maiden visit after assuming office and reviewed the general security situation here besides that of the upcoming annual Amarnath Yatra.

Governor Satya Pal Malik, accompanied by his advisors and some top officials of the state administration, received Shah at the airport, officials said.

Immediately after his arrival here, the Home minister, who is on a two-day visit, chaired a high-level meeting of civil administration officials and top bosses of various security agencies in the state, the officials said.

Governor Malik, his advisor incharge Home Affairs K Vijay Kumar, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, senior officers of the Union Home Ministry, state Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam, Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, DGP Dilbagh Singh and divisional commissioners from the Valley and Jammu were present in the meeting, they said.

The Home minister was briefed about the overall security situation in the state, especially in the aftermath of the Pulwama suicide attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed, the officials said.

The officials also informed Shah about various steps taken to against the top militant leadership, while ensuring that the militants are not able to carry out Pulwama-like attacks, they said.

Shah was also briefed about the steps taken for ensuring smooth and safe conduct of the annual Amarnath Yatra, which is due to commence on July 01, the officials said.

The Home minister is slated to visit the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, they said.

After detailed deliberations, according to an official press release, the Union Home Minister laid emphasis on various points critical for the security of the Yatra.

He directed all security agencies to be fully alert and take all preventive steps to ensure violence-free Yatra. He said there should be no laxity and strict enforcement of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) should be ensured and that the senior officers should personally supervise the arrangements.

He also asked the forces to ensure best possible optimum use of latest technologies and the gadgets not only for the security of the Yatra but also to facilitate the movement of the devotees and the tourists, and specifically drew attention of the forces towards anti-sabotage as well as anti-subversion drills and the access control procedures, the press release informed.

It said the Home Minister underlined the importance of the SOPs for convoy movement and specifically harped on the points that timely dispatch of convoys should be ensured, after the cut-off timings barricades should be erected at suitable locations and no differentiation should be made between Yatris and tourists, barricades be used at all lateral entry points during convoy movement and that all lateral points should be manned 24x7.

Besides attending to medical emergency, he stressed that preparedness must also be ensured to deal with any type of calamity or contingency. Specialized units and trained personnel should be in place with due focus on the prescribed drills for the purpose, he said.

While stressing on best possible facilities to be provided in the base camps, he also laid emphasis on the essential facilities for those deputed on the arrangements of the Yatra, and underscored the need for all the duty personnel to ensure proper conduct all throughout.

“There should be no complacency on the part of security forces or duty staff at any point of time during the whole Yatra period,” he stressed.

According to the press release, even as he advised all the security forces and various agencies to continue taking strict action against “miscreants”, Home Minister also reiterated the need to cover all the sensitive and vulnerable places including possible points of infiltration throughout the state in order to obviate any type of risk to the Yatra.

“Appreciating the whole-hearted cooperation of the people of the state in successful conduct of the Yatra, the Union Home Minister reassured the commitment towards best possible arrangements,” the press release informed.

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