Accompanied by Chief of Staff of the National Assembly of JK Pradesh Vikar Rasool Waniworking president Raman Bhalla and hundreds of volunteers carrying tricolor flags, Gandhi entered Samba Tapyal-Gagwal of the district after crossing London check-in point at around 8 a.m. and was greeted by enthusiastic workers and fans waiting on both sides of the road.
After covering a distance of about 25 kilometers, the parade will stop for the night at Chak Nanak before starting again from Samba’s Vijaypur for Jammu, where it will arrive on Monday.
Officials said adequate security arrangements for Gandhi with police, CRPF and other security agencies were closely guarded to ensure a peaceful march.
Security has been further beefed up across Jammu and Kashmir following a double bombing in the Narwal area on the outskirts of Jammu on Saturday, which injured nine people.
Police suspect that the IED was used to carry out double explosions in an SUV parked in a repair shop and in a vehicle at a nearby scrapyard in the Transport Nagar area of Narwal.
The terrorist attack comes at a time when security agencies in the region are on high alert ahead of the Congressional Yatra and the upcoming Republic Day celebrations. The operation began from Kanyakumari on 7 September and entered Jammu and Kashmir from Punjab on Thursday.
Yatra is scheduled to end in Srinagar on January 30 with Gandhi hoisting the national flag at Parliament headquarters.