STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: The Amarnath pilgrimage remained suspended from here for the second day on Friday as inclement weather in the Valley had left thousands of pilgrims stranded at both Baltal and Pahalgam Base Camps from where the pilgrims proceed by foot to pay obeisance at 3,880-metre high Cave Shrine.
The Amarnath-bound convoy, which usually leaves Jammu in the early hours, was not allowed for the second day to avoid overcrowding at the twin base camps in the Valley, an official of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), which manages the annual Yatra, said.
He said a large number of pilgrims were held up at various camps en route to the Cave Shrine, including Baltal, Nunwan-Pahalgam, Sheshnag and Panjtarni, because of heavy rains which triggered landslides and shooting of stones along the arduous tracks over the past couple of days.
The Yatra via both, the shortest 12-km Baltal as well as the 36-km traditional Pahalgam, routes remained suspended since Wednesday due to continuous rains and landslides between Railpathri and Brarimarg, leaving thousands of pilgrims stranded in the Valley.
on the 9th day of ongoing Shri Amarnathji Yatra 4,821 Yatris paid obeisance at Holy Cave.
However, limited helicopter services functioned from both the routes and so far 73,023 pilgrims had paid obeisance at the naturally formed ‘Shivling’ at the Cave Shrine since the beginning of the 60-day long Yatra on June 28, the official said.
Meanwhile, Yatra resumed on Friday from the Pahalgam route after a gap of two days while it remained suspended for the third consecutive day from the Baltal route due to landslides.
A spokesman of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) said here on Friday that the Yatra resumed from the Pahalgam route in south Kashmir’s Anantnag District this morning.
He, however, said the Yatra remained suspended from the Baltal route in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal District due to landslides near the base camp and in Danibagh area of Kangan on the Srinagar-Leh Highway.
The landslide at Danibagh also forced the closure of the Srinagar-Leh Road the only road-link connecting the valley with Ladakh region.
A police official said that three pilgrims died and four others were injured when they came under a landslide between Brarimarg and Railpathri on Baltal route on Tuesday night while two pilgrims were killed by shooting stones over the past three days.
A pilgrim from West Bengal, Sanjay Santra, died near the Cave Shrine due to cardiac arrest, the official said.
Six other persons have died due to cardiac arrest since the pilgrimage to the 3,880-metre high Shrine began on June 28, taking the death toll in this year’s pilgrimage to 12.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper