Wednesday's attack on security forces, which led to the killing of five Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in south Kashmir's Anantnag district, has thrown a new challenge and raised concerns about the safety and security of those who will be coming to the state for the holy pilgrimage this year.
The Amarnath Yatra will commence next month in Kashmir valley. Part of the Yatra passes through the stretch of the road that came under the attack by terrorists yesterday.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik has said that the attack on security forces was carried out on the behest of Pakistan. "Whenever situation improves in the Valley and when forces have an upper hand, directions are given from outside for fidayeen (suicide) attacks," Malik said adding that security for the Amarnath pilgrimage will be improved.
"Hundred per cent this was done on the behest of Pakistan and fidayeen attacks happen after Pakistan gives a signal," the J&K Governor told media.
Advisor to Governor and retired IPS officer, K Vijay Kumar, who was involved in the killing of Veerappan during Operation Cocoon, 2004, says arrangements are foolproof and there is no need to worry.
"We will take sufficient precautions. We will factor in what happened in Anantnag. We also look at the previous incidents and this will also be part of the overall planning. With all intelligence and precautions, this is the place where the public and transport is moving. It's not an isolated post, it was one-to-one," said Kumar.
In 2017, Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists opened fire on a bus carrying Amarnath Yatra pilgrims killing 8 and wounding 19 others in Anantnag district.
"We wouldn't say what we will do, but we will do all the arrangements. Within a few minutes, there was a proper reaction, the initial opportunity is with the other side," Kumar said.
Kumar said that there are some claims made and name of Al Umar outfit has been mentioned but they don't give it complete credibility and will analyse the case.
Speaking after laying wreaths on the coffins of slain CRPF personnel, Kumar said that "there are a lot of people from the community who want to bring the situation to normalcy, however, these kinds of elements coming from outside can change the temperature a little bit, we are resolute and determined".
The Amarnath Yatra is scheduled to begin from July 1 and end on August 15.
Advisor to Governor said that there are some claims made and name of Al Umar outfit has been mentioned.