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Amarnath Yatra: Bravehearts of CRPF are not bothered, doing 14-hour duty with 10 kg weight on the yatra route

Pankaj Prasad
CRPF in Amarnath Yatra Route
CRPF in Amarnath Yatra Route

During the Amarnath Yatra, the Central Security Forces personnel are on duty round the clock to ensure that the pilgrims do not face any kind of trouble, that no terrorists look at them and that there is no risk in rains or other calamities.

During the Amarnath Yatra, the Central Security Forces personnel are on duty round the clock to ensure that the pilgrims do not face any kind of trouble, that no terrorists look at them and that there is no risk in rains or other calamities. Be it a storm, a cloudburst or heavy rains, the bravehearts of the CRPF don't budge. Normally, even though the duty is for eight hours, but during the journey, these jawans have to stand for 12 to 14 hours and even more, carrying a weight of 10 kg. These young men do not sit still even for a moment. As a result, they have to bear the risk of health. Many jawans have started complaining of knee pain. Since these jawans used to give duty while standing at some other place, in such a situation, the cartridges of their knees wear out. As a result, this problem goes till surgery.

Camp security duty also has to be given at night

The CRPF, the country's largest central paramilitary force, remains on duty round-the-clock to ensure that there is no danger to the passengers on the Amarnath Yatra route in Jammu and Kashmir. Soldiers do not get rest even after 12 to 14 hours of deployment. The jawans on the route also have to give the duty of camp security at night. The question of leave does not arise during the journey. Keeping phones on duty is prohibited. If the jawan has to talk to his family, it becomes possible only after he reaches the camp. On the Yatra route, a jawan also has a weapon, bulletproof jacket and belt. Together all these make up about ten kilos of weight. While on duty, no soldier separates him from his body even for a moment.

Why does surgery come about?

Orthopedic specialist, Dr. Ashok Upadhyay explains, see, standing in the same position for a long time is not good for the body. There must be a limit for this. A lot also depends on the weight of that jawan. If the weight is according to the height, then the problem does not arise much. Even after this, if a person carrying a weight of ten kilos keeps standing in the same posture for 12 hours or more, then there may be trouble. If there is a break in between, then the problem is less. Standing for such a long time has a direct effect on the knees. The cartridge wears out due to overloading. This may even lead to surgery. Athletes are different. They keep their muscles strong. Does not allow excessive stress on the joint. If someone remains standing at the same place, then there is constant pressure. If a person walks here and there or walks continuously then that pressure gets divided. It is not possible for the jawan to lower the load.

Have to wear same uniform for many days

The jawans of the force deployed in the Amarnath Yatra say that CRPF has maximum deployment on the Yatra route. The jawans are facing severe mental stress and tough physical challenges. CRPF jawans are always ready even as a road opening party. Before the Amarnath Yatra, one day off was available, but now even that is not possible. The jawans get some rest only if the yatra is suspended due to any reason. Sometimes the situation becomes such that the jawan does not even have time to wash his uniform. One has to wear the same uniform for many days. The uniform gets spoiled in dusty soil and rain. The soldiers on night duty who get rest except one day, only they are able to complete some work related to their daily routine.

Jawans leave the camp at six in the morning

If there are fifty soldiers in a group, then twenty of them have to be given night shift duty. At six in the morning, the jawan gets ready with his weapon and communication equipment. After this, he is able to return to the camp only from six to eight in the evening. Jawans on duty are prohibited from carrying mobile phones. One, the jawan gets tired of his rigorous duty and secondly, he stays away from his home. According to an official, at present the jawans are going through mental pressure. At present, devotees are coming and going from every corner of the country to visit the Amarnath cave. The CRPF handles the route of the yatra and the security of the passengers. However, other security forces are also deployed at various places of the Yatra. In the midst of frequent terrorist incidents in Kashmir, ensuring the safety of Amarnath devotees is a big challenge in itself.

Jawans protect the 300 kilometer long route

After the terrorist attack on the pilgrims during the Amarnath Yatra during the year 2017, now this yatra is done under the close supervision of CRPF. Convoys of pilgrims are brought in CRPF escort from Jammu Base Camp to Baltal/Pahalgam for a journey of about 300 kms. Jawans are deployed to keep this travel route safe from morning till evening. These jawans leave the camp early in the morning with their arms and ammunition and other equipment. Soldiers have to stand with the weight of their gear for more than 14 hours. Due to the long duration of posting, these jawans have to face not only physical but also mental pressure. Despite this, the jawans do not get upset on their duty.