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Commandoes deployed at Amarnath yatra base camp

July 13, 2004 20:16 IST

Around 6,400 security personnel have been positioned all along the route to the Amarnath cave shrine and for the first time, the special commando force of the Central Reserve Police Force will be deployed at the base camp of the annual yatra beginning tomorrow.

"To safeguard the Amarnath yatra from any type of sabotage by terrorists, 64 security companies have been deployed from Jammu to Amarnath," CRPF Inspector General C Balasubramaniam told reporters in Jammu today.

Some 25 special CRPF commandos are being deployed at the Mam Stadium in Jammu, base camp of the annual pilgrimage, in view of definite intelligence reports that terrorists may target it, he said.

"Commandos have been deployed for the first time to foil any such design," the IG said.

"We want to ensure that the yatra passes off peacefully this year. In previous years it had been bloody due to terrorist attacks in the Kashmir valley," he added.

Of the 64 companies, 32 each are of the CRPF and the Border Security Force. The BSF is being deployed for the first time for the security of Amarnath pilgrims, he said.

While about 4,900 personnel are being deployed in the Kashmir Valley, around 2,500 would provide security to pilgrims along the yatra route in the Jammu region. The BSF replaces the CRPF in escorting the convoy of yatra buses.

Officially the Amarnath yatra begins tomorrow even though pilgrims in large numbers have already started visiting the shrine.

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