The Amarnath Yatra is holy to Hindus and every year thousands of Hindus undertake the journey. However, the unfortunate part is that in their own country, Hindus can’t visit their sacred places without the threat of violence looming large over their heads.
Keeping the threat in mind, the Indian Army has deployed five battalions in the Valley for the yatra that starts on June 29. The Indian Army is gearing up to prevent any communal incidents during the yatra that will be preceded by Eid-ul-Fitr on June 26.
Engineers, signals and Territorial Army units have been moved to the Valley as part of the five battalions. One battalion will be on the Sonamarg-Baltal route to the Amarnath shrine in Jammu and Kashmir, and another one will be on the Pahalgam route. The remaining battalions will be positioned along the Srinagar-Jammu highway north of the Jawahar Tunnel. The troops will be equipped with night vision capability.
The security coverage is intense with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) being the overall in-charge for conducting the Amarnath yatra while these Army units will be in-charge for countering militants.
Looking at the high level of security in place, it would seem as if Hindus are visiting a temple not in India, but in some Hindu-minority nation.
Protecting these pilgrims is the duty of the government and the deployment of the Army is the correct step, but the fundamental question is – Why is that Hindus have to live in such fear in a nation where they form the majority?
Hindus have been persecuted blatantly in Jammu and Kashmir; the worst episode being the genocide of the Kashmiri Pandits. And this Hindu-harassment is not only restricted to Kashmir; it is widely prevalent in states like Kerala and West Bengal.
Following the religion of one’s choice is a right of every citizen, yet it is Hindus who are stopped from conducting Durga Puja at places in West Bengal and have to pray in fear during the Amarnath Yatra.
Posted On : 19-Jun-2017