Saturday, May 18, 2024

Amarnath Yatra cancelled in view of Covid 19 pandemic

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Jammu and Kashmir lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha on Monday cancelled the annual Amarnath pilgrimage amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, all the rituals will be held, he said.

Sinha announced the decision after discussions with the shrine board. “Shri Amarnathji Yatra cancelled in wake of Covid-19 pandemic. Decision after threadbare discussion with Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board members. Yatra to be symbolic only. However, all the traditional religious rituals shall be performed at the Holy Cave Shrine as per past practice,” he posted on his Twitter handle.

“It’s important to save people’s lives. So, it is not advisable to hold and conduct this year’s pilgrimage in the larger public interest,” he added.

The 56-day yatra to the 3,880-metre-high cave shrine of Lord Shiva in the upper reaches of South Kashmir Himalayas, was scheduled to start from the twin routes of Pahalgam and Baltal on June 28 and culminate on August 22.

Last week, Sinha attended a meeting called by Union home minister Amit Shah to take stock of the security situation in J&K, besides development initiatives. National security advisor Ajit Doval, Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla, top security and intelligence officers also attended the meeting.

On April 22, the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) had temporarily suspended registration of the pilgrims for the annual pilgrimage in views of surge in Covid cases.

The pilgrimage was cancelled in 2020 as well because of the pandemic.

In 2019, it was curtailed ahead of nullification of Article 370. By then, 342,883 pilgrims had visited the cave shrine.

Thousands of pilgrims either trek the traditional and longer 45km-long Pahalgam route in Anantnag district or the shorter 14km-long Baltal route in Ganderbal district to the holy shrine every year.Amarnath Yatra cancelled in view of Covid 19 pandemic


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