The holy Hindu pilgrimage, the Amarnath Yatra will commence from June 30, 2022. However, danger looms large at the pilgrims after Intelligence agencies received information that vehicles carrying Amarnath pilgrims can be attacked with sticky bombs. This year, more than 3 lakh pilgrims are expected to visit the holy Amarnath shrine.
Last month, a Pakistani drone was shot down in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district. The unmanned aerial vehicle was carrying sticking bombs as part of a major terror plot aimed at the Amartnath Yatra. Police had received inputs that the terrorists might use sticky bombs to attack the Char Dham Yatra buses.
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The modus operandi was also used during the Katra bus incident in May where four people were killed and 22 were injured and now being probed by the NIA. Looking at the risk involved, security agencies have made a big change in the plan of the vehicular movement of Amarnath pilgrims. Security agencies in Jammu and Kashmir are on a high alert after reports of terrorists being in possession of sticky bombs.
What are sticky bombs?
Sticky bombs, also known as magnetic bombs, are a type of explosives that are small in size and can be stuck to a vehicle to detonate it from a distance. Sticky bombs have been in use since the Second World War. More recently, they were used by Talibans in Afghanistan against the NATO forces.
These types of bomb can be remotely denoted and can also be set off using timers. Media reports suggest it is a coin-shaped magnet at the bottom of a small container that enables the attacker to attach the bomb to a metal surface, usually a vehicle.
These bombs have a timer of about 5-10 minutes, which gives the attacker enough time to flee. Sticky bombs, which were also used by the British forces during the World War II, can be put on any vehicle and detonated through a remote control or an in-built timer.
The terrorists often attach these sticky bombs onto a vehicle when it stops at a traffic signal or for any other reason. During the Katra bus attack, the sticky bomb was attached to the fuel tank of the vehicle. Experts are of the opinion that sticky bombs are not made in India, but most of the sticky bombs are imported. Al Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent has been an expert in making such sticky bombs.
New SOPs for Amarnath Yatra
In view of these incidents, the security agencies have started working again on the strategy of the security of the Amarnath Yatra.
Security agencies have made a big change in the plan of the vehicular movement of Amarnath pilgrims and alertness will be the key.
According to CRPF, vehicles of Amarnath pilgrims as well as security forces will be secluded during the movement and thoroughly checked.
Instructions have been issued to the security forces as well as those managing the pilgrimage not to leave vehicles unattended, the PTI reported.
Around three lakh pilgrims are likely to take part in the pilgrimage to the cave shrine located in the upper reaches of south Kashmir. It will end on August 11.