JAMMU, Aug 3: Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) today announced cancellation of the upcoming annual Budha Amarnath Yatra, citing threat posed by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists to the pilgrimage.
The 10-day yatra in Poonch district of Jammu region, organized by the VHP, was scheduled to begin on August 6, 2019.
“In view of the emerging security situation following the recovery of US made sniper rifle and landmine along the Amarnath Yatra track in Kashmir, we have decided to cancel the Yatra to Budha Amarnath for the safety of the pilgrims”, State VHP President Leela Karan Sharma said during a press conference.
“The annual Amarnath Yatra has already been suspended due to security reasons”, said Sharma, who was flanked by several other senior leaders including Bajrang Dal National Convener Sohan Singh Solanki.
Sharma further informed that the decision to suspend the yatra was taken at a general meeting which was convened here to take stock of the situation.
A delegation of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Baba Amarnath and Budha Amarnath Yatri Niyas and Bajrang Dal met Divisional Commissioner Jammu and told him that limited pilgrims after performing Bhumi Pujan on August 5 will offer prayers at the Budha Amarnath shrine next day.
While speaking, Solanki termed the suspension of the pilgrimages as ‘unfortunate’ and said he had come here to take stock of the arrangements for the Budha Amarnath Yatra which is being undertaken by the VHP with a special prayer on August 5 before the first darshan at the shrine next day.
“Over 25,000 pilgrims from across the country had registered themselves for the yatra and have been told to cancel their plan”, he said.
He informed that VHP International Working President Alok Kumar is taking part in a special prayer here on August 5 and with the permission of the administration, a limited number of pilgrims will offer their prayers at the Budha Amarnath shrine next day.
Among others present were Rajesh Gupta, Shakti Dutt Sharma, Pawan Kohli and Sudershan Khajuria.