Security measures for the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Kashmir on Saturday were tighter than a day earlier when Rahul Gandhi had to cancel his foot march, Congress Secretary Jairam Ramesh said here.
“After yesterday’s incident, the government has made strict arrangements. But nevertheless, thousands of people – men, women, children, the elderly, every section of society – stood on the road and warmly welcomed the Yatra and Gandhi,” Ramesh said. reporters at a press here.
The yatra resumed this morning from Awantipora in the Pulwama district of southern Kashmir. The Congress had claimed on Friday that the Jammu and Kashmir government’s police arrangements had “completely collapsed”, prompting Gandhi to suspend his walk.
“There were strict agreements. All roads were closed, traffic was at a standstill and people were in difficulties. We received many calls that people were not allowed to move. But despite this, many people came out of their homes to support the yatra,” said Vikar Rasool of the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC).
He said the Yatra has given people “a voice to speak out against unemployment, price increases and hatred”.
“The way the people of JK have welcomed the yatra has made it clear that the people here have suffered,” he said.
The government of Jammu and Kashmir has maintained that the strain on security resources due to a larger than expected crowd may have created the impression that security arrangements were not in place.
Strict security arrangements were made for the Yatra, with security forces closing all roads to the starting point. Only authorized vehicles and reporters were allowed to access the site. There was also a three-tier security ring around Gandhi as part of the heightened security measures.
Meanwhile, the Congress released a theme song of Bharat Jodo Yatra in the Kashmiri language on Saturday as the party’s foot march entered its penultimate day.
Mr. Ramesh said that this is the ninth theme song of the Yatra.
“It’s a three-minute song. We released eight songs in different languages before that,” he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DailyExpertNews staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)
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