No impact of militant attack, pilgrimage going on smoothly

SRINAGAR: Pilgrimage to holy Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas was going on smoothly as fresh batches of yatris left Baltal and Nunwan Pahalgam base camps early this morning. Weather is pleasant, yatra is going on from both traditional Pahalgam and shortest Baltal routes, a Yatra Control Room (YCR) official told.
He said 3388 pilgrims had paid obeisance at the holy cave yesterday, when militants attacked a BSF convoy at Udhampur on Srinagar-Jammu national highway in which two BSF personnel were killed and 13 were injured. A militant was captured alive while another was killed.
With this 3,31,352, including women, sadhus and children, from different parts of the country had paid obeisance since the commencement of the 59 day long annual pilgrimage from July 2. The yatra will conclude on August 29.
Majority of the pilgrims had travelled from Jammu to base camps in Kashmir on their own without availing security from the government. Fresh batch of pilgrims, including women, sadhus and children, left Baltal base camp in the central Kashmir district of Ganderbal for the holy cave shrine.
He said the yatris are expected to cover the 16-km-long distance on foot before paying obeisance at the cave shrine today. The official said yatris, who had night halt near the cave shrine after having darshan, have also started their return journey to Baltal base camp.
He said fresh batches of pilgrims also left Nunwan Pahalgam base camp for Chandanwari, the last motorable halting station on the traditional route. The sky is cloudy. Though majority of the pilgrims will start their foot journey towards the next halting station.Similarly, pilgrims, who had night halt at Chandanwari and other halting station have also started their journey towards the cave shrine early this morning. (AGENCIES)

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