Sources said that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), has ordered state governments to increase security for Kanwariyas as a result of the emergence of Kanwar Yatra starting on Thursday.
Based on an Intelligence Bureau report’s inputs, the home ministry issued an advisory to several states including Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh for a heightened security arrangement for the Kanwar Yatra.
The Railway Board has been directed to beef up security on trains due to the threat. Sources claimed that the advisory calls for a large deployment of police officers to handle any threat during Kanwar Yatra.
The Kanwar Yatra, which began on Thursday of the Hindu month Shravan, was held under tight security. Devotees of Lord Shiva reached Haridwar to fetch the Ganga waters.
The Kanwar Yatra takes place After a gap of 2 years caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,. Authorities estimate that approximately four hundred thousand Kanwariyas will visit Haridwar and Rishikesh in order to drink the holy waters during the almost two-week-long fair.
Kanwariyas, from various states, including Uttar Pradesh (Haryana), Haryana, Delhi Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh visit Rishikesh and Haridwar in order to collect the Ganga waters and offer them to Lord Shiva.
STRICT PRIVACY ARRANGEMENTS IN PLACE
Because of the large number of devotees that are expected to visit the pilgrimage towns, surveillance cameras, drones, as well as monitoring social media, is being kept in check. The mela kshetra has also seen the deployment of anti-terrorist squads and bomb disposal units.
Haridwar, along with its adjacent areas, has been divided into 12 superzones and 31 zones. There are also 133 sectoral divisions. Around 10,000 police personnel have been deployed.
Police said that drone surveillance will continue round-the-clock on Kanwar yatra routes and that no Shiva devotees will be allowed into the town with spears or other weapons.
(With PTI inputs