Jammu and Kashmir: Separatists call for shutdown, Amarnath Yatra suspended

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 13 July 2019, 11:02 AM
Stringent security arrangements have been made for smooth conduct of the annual pilgrimage
Stringent security arrangements have been made for smooth conduct of the annual pilgrimage

The Amarnath Yatra on Saturday was suspended following the shutdown call by separatists. “No pilgrim allowed will be allowed to move towards the Kashmir Valley from Jammu due to a separatist-called protest shutdown, police said. July 13 is observed as Martyrs Day in Jammu and Kashmir to remember those killed in the firing outside the Srinagar Central Jail by forces of the Dogra Maharaja in 1931.

“Taking stock of the law and order situation because the protest shutdown called by the separatists today, movement of the pilgrims from Jammu to Srinagar will remain suspended today,” police sources said.

Earlier the Yatra was suspended on July 8 in the Kashmir Valley on the third death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen’s poster boy Burhan Wani. Mobile internet services were snapped in the four districts - Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian - of south Kashmir as a precautionary measure. Wani, once a poster boy of militancy in the Valley, was killed in an encounter with security forces on 8 July, 2016, in Kokernag area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Burhan’s killing triggered massive protests and a prolonged period of curfews and shutdowns across the valley. Over a period of more than four months, 85 people were killed and thousand others injured in clashes between security forces and protestors.

The number of pilgrims who have paid obedience at Amarnath shrine which takes place from the 36-km Pahalgam track in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district and 14-km Baltal route in Ganderbal district in Pahalgam so far crossed 1.5 lakh mark in first 12 days. Till Friday night, 1,57,062 pilgrims had offered prayers at the cave shrine, according to media report.

Stringent security arrangements have been made for smooth conduct of the annual pilgrimage. "A robust security cover has been put in place for the yatra which includes satellite and chip-based tracking of vehicles and pilgrims. The deployment of forces is in various layers to ensure smooth conduct of the pilgrimage," the officials said.

First Published: Saturday, July 13, 2019 11:02 AM
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