Navratra festivities begin in Jammu: 15 Things you need to know

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Jammu: With nine-day Navratra festival scheduled to begin on Thursday, the Jammu and Kashmir police has been directed to remain extra vigilant to keep a check on anti-national and anti-social elements.

The directions were passed at a meeting chaired by Senior Superintendent of Police, Jammu, Sunil Gupta here to strength the security grid in view of the upcoming festivals, a police spokesman said.

“Keeping in view the present security scenario in the state and impending threats from anti-national and anti-social elements, all the participants were emphasised that adequate security arrangements need to be made in advance, he said.

The spokesman said the officers have been directed to brief those deployed for security arrangements to remain extra vigilant and not to leave the station till culmination of the festival.

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“Territorial officers were directed to keep a close watch over any communal issue like bovine smuggling as it is a sensitive issue and can create law and order problem,” he said.

He said the officers were also directed to deploy women cops in the main markets in view of heavy rush of women shoppers on the occasion of ‘karvachauth’.

Besides, the territorial officers were also directed to verify the genuineness of the licenses of the arms dealers falling in their respective jurisdiction, the spokesman said.

The SSP, last night, visited the Kali Mata Temple at the Bahu Fort here and reviewed the security arrangements. He checked all sentry posts and additional check points set-up in and around the temple, he said.

Security has slso been stepped in Katra town-the base camp of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi-as nine-day long Navratras to begin tomorrow amid fanfare and religious sanctity.

Navratra Festival being organized by Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department at holy Katra town- the base camp for Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Cave Shrine, would commence tomorrow and continue for nine days featuring series of religious and cultural programmes.
Security agencies however, have sounded alert in view of the Navratras festival and enhanced security grid in the region.

“Security has been beefed up at several vital points including popular market places,” a senior police official here said.

He said that the fool proof security arrangements are significantly heightened at the Jammu airport, railway stations, bus stands and other vital installations across the region.

Director General of Police (DGP), Dr S P Vaid has already reviewed security scenario and asked the officers to supervise personally the law and order and security in their respective areas.

Local police have been asked to remain extra vigilant and para-military forces have also been deployed in several parts of the city for quick response in cases an emergency situation arises.

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Jammu Dr S D Singh Jamwal had said that foolproof security grid has been put in place to ensure the safety of devotees.

Jamwal yesterday reviewed security arrangements at Katra town-the base camp of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Cave Shrine-in a meeting directing them to ensure that comprehensive deployment is made to maintain law and order and communal harmony and close watch be kept over the activities of anti-national, anti-social and other disgruntled elements.

It was also impressed upon the participants to ensure that nakas deployed around Katra Town are fully strengthened to ensure effective checking and frisking round the clock.

District SSPs concerned are directed to dominate the outer periphery of Katra Town, Trikuta Hills adjoining Bhawan area by way of regular patrolling.

The IGP also visited all the venues of the programmes to be held during navratras and took stock of the security arrangements which have been beefed up in view of the ongoing navratras.

Adequate number of security personnel has been deployed besides holding of mock drills to ensure that a strong security grid is put in place.
Paramilitary and police personnel are patrolling and frisking people at important points in Jammu city, which is thronged by thousands of devotees every year, especially during Navratri.

“There is much fanfare in Katra during Navratra festival and the inflow of tourists also rises manifold. We have made proper security arrangements and also been assisted by the para-military forces”, a police officer said.

Besides security, special focus is also laid on smooth and gala celebrations during the Navratra festival, said an official, adding, “bhawan and other temples have been decorated and illuminated in the town.”

“Flowers from abroad were delivered to Katra to decorate ‘Mata Ka Darbar’ at Bhawan,” he added.

“Multipurpose loudspeakers have also been installed en route Bhawan for round the clock ‘bhajans’ and announcements,” he added and said that at Ardh Kuwari, Haathi Matha and Ban Ganga, special light effects have been given for decorating the track.

The official said that the winners of various events being held during the festival will be suitably rewarded.
Special stalls serving eatables for fasting devotees will be set up en route Bhawan, he added.

Entire arrangements are being supervised by the Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra, who is also the chairman of the Shrine Board.
The devotees making their way to the shrine were also put through rigorous checking, a routine, exercised with extra care, considering the sensitive nature of the shrine.

Police have also conducted area domination at Bhawan and they were directed to remain extra-vigilant.

The border force however, is also maintaining tight vigil along border to foil any nefarious design from across the border and attempt to disrupt peaceful celebrations.

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