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Authorities will use drones to monitor this year’s Amaranath Yatra following intelligence tips that terrorists may be planning to target the holy Hindu pilgrimage to the cave shrine, official sources told India Today TV.

Equipped with surveillance cameras, the drones will hover over the entire trek round-the-clock and beam the pictures back to the control rooms, sources said. A four-ring security cover will be provided to the pilgrims journeying to the sacred Amarnath cave overlooking the valley, they said.

From Lakhanpur onwards, the devotees will be protected by the CRPF, Jammu and Kashmir Police escorts and guards, all along the route. The BSF will carry out joint patrols. According to top security officials, Army deployments have been ordered in high-altitude areas of the pilgrimage trek.

The Yatra is scheduled to begin on June 2. The ice lingam formed this year in the Amarnath cave is smaller than its average height. Pilgrims, therefore, are expected to visit the shrine in the first few days of the almost two-month-long sacred trip in order to catch the glimpse of the holy icicle symbolising Lord Shiva.