Rajnath Singh on Saturday morning flew in a helicopter to the Himalayan cave shrine of Amarnath in Anantnag district of South Kashmir.
He was accompanied by Governor N.N. Vohra who is also the chairman of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) that manages the affairs of the annual yatra which started this year on Saturday.
Rajnath Singh and Vohra participated in the special Puja inside the shrine to herald the beginning of this year’s 48-day long yatra. Both of them prayed for peace and development in the country.
“Feeling extremely blessed after visiting the Holy Cave at Amarnathji this morning (Saturday). Jai Baba Bholenath!,” Rajnath Singh tweeted after visiting the shrine.
Later, the home minister paid obeisance at the Hazratbal Shrine in Srinagar.
State Director General of Police K. Rajendra Kumar accompanied Rajnath Singh during his visit to the Hazratbal Shrine situated on the banks of the Dal Lake in Srinagar city.
Singh on Friday reviewed the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir at a meeting which was attended by Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti besides other senior officials, central intelligence and security force agencies.
He was briefed about the steps taken for ensuring security of the pilgrims during the yatra in which lakhs of people participate every year.
“The meeting deliberated upon the strategic issues pertaining to situation in the state with particular reference to development projects,” officials said.
“During the meeting a range of issues pertaining to the state were discussed. Rajnath Singh assured of positive outcomes on the issues of opening of more LoC routes for trade, giving permission to foreigners to visit Ladakh including Nubra Valley, quick resolution of land related issues and increasing ex gratia payment to families of martyred police personnel,” officials said.
The minister also instructed the CRPF and the BSF to explore the possibility of conducting special recruitment drives in Jammu and Kashmir.
Earlier, state government sources said all officials who are part of the unified headquarters will be present during the meeting.
The unified headquarters is the apex security grid in the state formed to create synergy among various intelligence agencies and security forces engaged in anti-militancy operations.
Rajnath Singh is scheduled to fly back to New Delhi in the afternoon.