Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra resumed from Hiranagar in Jammu and Kashmir amid high security as shadows of the twin blasts loomed in the air. The foot march started as per schedule around 7 am from Hiranagar near the International Border along the Jammu-Pathankot highway.
Accompanied by J-K Pradesh Congress chief Vikar Rasool Wani, working president Raman Bhalla and hundreds of volunteers carrying the tricolour, Gandhi entered Samba district’s Tapyal-Gagwal after crossing Londi checkpoint at around 8 am and was greeted by enthusiastic workers and supporters waiting on both sides of the road.
After covering about 25-km distance, the march will have a night halt at Chak Nanak before restarting from Samba’s Vijaypur for Jammu, where it will reach on Monday. Officials said adequate security arrangements are in place for Gandhi with police, CRPF and other security agencies keeping a tight vigil to ensure a peaceful march.
Security has been further beefed up across Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of twin bomb blasts in Narwal area on the outskirts of Jammu city on Saturday, which left nine people injured. Police suspect that IEDs were used to carry out the twin explosions in an SUV parked in a repair shop and in a vehicle at a nearby junkyard at Transport Nagar area of Narwal.
The terror attack comes at a time when security agencies in the region are on high alert in the wake of the Yatra of the Congress and the upcoming Republic Day celebrations. The march started from Kanyakumari on September 7 and entered Jammu and Kashmir from Punjab on Thursday. The yatra is scheduled to end in Srinagar on January 30 with the hoisting of the national flag at Congress headquarters by Gandhi.
Earlier, as the Bharat Jodo Yatra continued through Jammu and Kashmir on Friday (January 30), Rahul Gandhi was seen donning a black jacket for the first time since its entry in peak North Indian winters. Generally, Gandhi sports short-sleeved white t-shirts even while passing places like Delhi, Punjab and Haryana amid biting cold.