ITBP personnel brave shooting stones to protect Amarnath pilgrims. (Screengrab)
The annual Amarnath yatra to the 3880-metre high holy cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas began on Monday amid tight security arrangements. Thousands of pilgrims brave extremely rough weather and difficult terrain of snow-capped mountains to reach the cave and pay obeisance before the ice structure of Lord Shiva.
A large number of security personnel have been deployed to ensure a violence-free yatra. These jawans not only protect pilgrims from terrorist attacks but also ensure a smooth journey by protecting them from shooting stones and other such things.
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) recently shared one such video on their official twitter handle in which jawans can be seen protecting pilgrims from shooting on Baltal route by placing shield wall.
“ITBP personnel braving shooting stones at a snow slope by placing Shield wall to ensure safe passage of #Amarnath Yatris on Baltal route. #Himveers,” tweeted ITBP.
Meanwhile, more than 25 pilgrims reportedly suffered from breathlessness and were administered oxygen at 12,000 feet by ITBP personnel on Baltal route.
The 46-day long annual Amarnath Yatra started on July 1 and will end on August 15 coinciding with the Shravan Purnima or Raksha Bandhan.
Over 1.5 lakh pilgrims from across the country have so far registered themselves for the 46-day long pilgrimage, which takes place from the 36-km Pahalgam track in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district and 14-km Baltal route in Ganderbal district.
The second batch comprising 4,417 pilgrims -- including 3,543 males, 843 females and 31 children -- left in a fleet of 142 vehicles from Bhagwati Nagar base camp for Pahalgam and Baltal
For the Pahalgam route, 2,800 pilgrims left the base camp, while 1,617 pilgrims for Baltal left in buses and light motor vehicles, which were escorted by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), officials said. The first batch was flagged off from Jammu on Sunday.
With PTI Inputs