STATE TIMES NEWS
Mendhar: Security forces on Wednesday conducted a search operation in nearly a dozen villages near the Line of Control (LoC) ahead of the annual Budha Amarnath yatra in Poonch district, officials said.
This was the second time in the past week that searches were carried out in the Gursai area of Mendhar sub-division, which falls along the yatra route, the officials said.
Security has been beefed up across Poonch ahead of the 10-day yatra which is scheduled to commence on August 18. The Bhoomi Pujan’ will be performed in a traditional way on August 17 and the first batch of pilgrims will leave for the yatra the next day.
The Buddha Amarnath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, in village Rajpura in Mandi tehsil of Poonch is one of the oldest shrines of Jammu region, and attracts huge rush of devotees during the yatra which concludes with the arrival of ‘Charri Mubarak’ (holy mace) at the shrine from Dashnami Akhara Poonch.
The River Pulsata flows by the temple, and is considered to be sacred where pilgrims take bath before entering the temple.Police assisted by Army and CRPF cordoned off over a dozen villages in Gursai early this morning for a thorough search operation, the officials said, adding further details are awaited.
Earlier, Vinay Kumar SSP Poonch, CO 38 Bn CRPF, Concerned Army CO of Poonch Brigade reviewed the security, LnO / QRT deployments, access control and other allied arrangements viz, water supply, power arrangements, Langer stalls, accommodation, parking, traffic, venue security, contingency arrangements etc at Shri Dashnami Akhara, GDC Ground Poonch and other lodgment centres.
Other stakeholders viz Tahir Mustafa Malik ADC Poonch, Zaheer Ahmed Kaifi ACR Poonch, Narinder Mohan Suri DEPO (Yatra officer), Basant Ram Pradhan Shri Dashnami Akhara Poonch, Nishu Gupta, President VHP Unit Poonch, Davindra Singh 2 I/C CRPF 38 Bn were also accompanying the SSP Poonch during the review visit. Mohd Shafiq Dy.SP DAR Poonch, Afrat Hussain Dy.SP Hqrs Poonch among other officers were also present on the occasion.