Amarnath Yatra starts amid tight security

Amarnath Yatra starts amid tight security

Amid tight security the annual Amarnath Yatra to the 3880-metre-high cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas commenced on Friday, on both Pahalgam and Baltal routes, simultaneously.

The first batch of pilgrims began the 45-km trek from traditional Pahalgam route, and 13-km from Baltal. In view of terror threats to the yatra, elaborate security arrangements have been made for the 55-day pilgrimage.

However, on the inaugural day, Jammu and Kashmir Police returned back 12,000 unregistered yatries and those who had later date registration from Pahalgam base camp in South Kashmir and Manigam area in Ganderbal district of north Kashmir.
Police said 8000 unregistered pilgrims and those with later date registration were returned back from Pahalgam. Similarly, 4000 such pilgrims were sent back from Manigam.

The J&K police requested the pilgrims to register themselves as per the guideline of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) and visit on the specified date of registration schedule.

“Besides, they are also requested to adhere to the specified Yatra routes only, wherein “P” stands for Pahalgam route vehicles and “B” stands for Baltal route vehicles,” a police spokesperson said. 

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra, who is also chairman of the SASB, was scheduled to participate in the “pratham darshan and pooja” on Friday morning and also visit both the base camps, at Baltal and Nunwan, to review arrangements.

 “However, he could not do so as the helicopter carrying him was not able to go beyond Sonamarg due to bad weather and poor visibility,” an official spokesperson said.

Vohra reiterated the need for effective supervision and close day to day monitoring by the camp directors and all the functionaries involved in the management of the Yatra, for ensuring smooth conduct of the pilgrimage.

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