Srinagar: Security measures for the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Kashmir on Saturday were stricter than a day before when Rahul Gandhi had to cancel his foot march, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said here.
“After yesterday’s incident, the administration made strict arrangements. But, despite that, thousands of people – men, women, children, elderly, every section of the society – stood on the roads and welcomed the Yatra and Gandhi heartily,” Ramesh told reporters at a presser here.
The yatra resumed from Awantipora in Pulwama district in south Kashmir this morning. The Congress had on Friday alleged that police arrangements by the Jammu and Kashmir administration had “completely collapsed” following which Gandhi had to suspend his walk.
“There were strict arrangements. All roads had been closed, traffic was suspended, and people faced difficulties. We received many phone calls that people were not allowed to move. But, despite that, many people came out of their houses to support the yatra,” Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) Vikar Rasool said.
He said the Yatra has given the people “a voice to speak out against unemployment, price rise and hatred”.
“The way the people of J-K have welcomed the yatra, it has made clear that people here have been troubled,” he said.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has maintained that pressure on security resources due to a larger-than-expected crowd may have created an impression that security arrangements were lacking.
Stringent security arrangements were put in place for the Yatra, with security forces sealing off all roads leading to its starting point. Only authorised vehicles and reporters were allowed to reach the venue.
There was also a three-layered security ring around Gandhi as part of the heightened security measures.
Meanwhile, the Congress on Saturday released a theme song of Bharat Jodo Yatra in the Kashmiri language here as the party’s foot march entered its penultimate day.
Ramesh said it is the ninth theme song of the Yatra.
“It is a three-minute song. Before this, we have released eight songs in different languages,” he said.
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