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3,000 BSF personnel airlifted to Kashmir

New Delhi, June 29 (Calcutta Tube) Some 3,000 Border Security Force (BSF) personnel have been sent to the Kashmir Valley to be part of the multi-layer security net for the annual Hindu pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave shrine that begins July 1, officials said Tuesday.

The paramilitary personnel were airlifted by special aircraft in the last couple of days so that the two-month long pilgrimage is conducted peacefully even as a cycle of violence has engulfed various parts of the valley.

At least eight people have been killed in the last four days in firing by security forces on stone-pelting mobs, triggering protests in south, central and northern areas of the Kashmir Valley.

As the first batch of pilgrims leaves from Jammu Wednesday, heavy security arrangements have been made to ensure safety of nearly 150,000 devotees who have registered for the journey to the shrine, at the height of 13,500 feet in south Kashmir district of Anantnag.

Fifty companies of Central Reserve Police Forces (CRPF) and police are also part of the multi-cordon security blanket to thwart any possible terrorist plot during the pilgrimage.

According to the plan, the Indian Army will man the heights to prevent any infiltration from the mountains, while BSF personnel will guard the trek route.

The safety of the camps put up for the pilgrims for night halts will be handled by CRPF and the police.

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