Amarnath Yatra: MHA warns of threat of stone-pelting on pilgrims, seeks more troops to ensure safety

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 23 May 2017, 06:28 PM
The MHA issued a statement on Tuesday indicating a possibility of stone-pelting incidents during the Amarnath Yatra. (File Photo)
The MHA issued a statement on Tuesday indicating a possibility of stone-pelting incidents during the Amarnath Yatra. (File Photo)

The Jammu and Kashmir government has sought 90 more companies of security personnel to ensure smooth and incident-free annual Amarnath Yatra after the home ministry warned of law and order situation due to the ongoing unrest in the Valley. 

The MHA issued a statement on Tuesday indicating a possibility of stone-pelting incidents during the 40-day pilgrimage scheduled to commence on June 29 simultaneously from Baltal and Chandanwari routes.

"There is a threat of stone-pelting, law and order on the Amarnath Yatris. 90 more companies sought by State for the deployment during Yatra, 279 companies were sought last year. Govt making efforts to ensure a peaceful Yatra," MHA spokesperson Ashok Prasad said. 

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A large number of pilgrims have shown interest in visiting 3,880 metre high holy cave shrine of Amarnath notwithstanding the continuing unrest. 

The number of people who have enrolled with the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board for the annual pilgrimage is almost the same as the last year. 

Despite the unrest, there has been no drop in the enrollment of pilgrims, an official said. More than 2.20 lakh pilgrims had offered prayers at the naturally formed ice-Shivlingam last year. 

The shrine is 46 km from Pahalgam and 14 km from Baltal. The pilgrimage will conclude on August 7. 

Jammu and Kashmir has seen protests and violence since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in July last year. 

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There was massive violence during the April nine bypoll to the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat in which eight people lost their lives in more than 200 incidents. 

The Election Commission had also cancelled the May 25 bypoll to Anantnag Lok Sabha seat, saying the situation there was not feasible for holding election.

First Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 06:02 PM
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