Burhan Wani death anniversary: Amarnath Yatra suspended for today in view of separatists' strike; two pilgrims die of natural causes

Jammu and Kashmir authorities have suspended the Amarnath yatra for one day on Sunday in view of a strike called by separatists to mark the second death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, police said.

Press Trust of India July 08, 2018 14:57:14 IST
Burhan Wani death anniversary: Amarnath Yatra suspended for today in view of separatists' strike; two pilgrims die of natural causes

Kathua/Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir authorities have suspended the Amarnath yatra on Sunday in view of a strike called by separatists to mark the second death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, police said.

Director General of the Jammu and Kashmir Police SP Vaid said, “You know the (law and order) situation in Kashmir is not good and our effort is to ensure safe yatra for the pilgrims. Tomorrow (Sunday) there is a strike call and we have to stop the yatra. Our duty is to ensure safety of the pilgrims.”

He visited Kathua district on Saturday and reviewed the arrangements made for the pilgrims arriving from across the country to undertake the annual pilgrimage in south Kashmir Himalayas.

Burhan Wani death anniversary Amarnath Yatra suspended for today in view of separatists strike two pilgrims die of natural causes

Representational image. PTI

A police spokesman said that the DGP reviewed the security arrangements at Lakhanpur Reception Center, gateway to Jammu and Kashmir, besides other important locations.

Accompanied by senior officers including the Inspector General of Police, Jammu, SD Singh Jamwal, and the Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Jammu-Kathua-Samba range, Bhim Sen Tuti, Vaid issued directions to all officers of the district to make all possible efforts to further strengthen the security grid and to make the journey comfortable.

Vaid sought cooperation from the Amarnath pilgrims, saying their safety is the highest priority of the government and its agencies.

“Security and facilitation of yatris is our top priority… My appeal to the pilgrims is that they should cooperate with us keeping in mind the (law and order) situation in the Valley,” Vaid said.

The 60-day yatra to the 3,880-metre-high holy cave shrine of Amarnath began on 28 June.

The Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), which manages the yatra, has made elaborate arrangements and the state administration and security agencies are lending support to ensure that the pilgrims do not face problems, the DGP said.

The DGP also conducted meeting with officers in district police headquarters Kathua, during which the yatra security, women's security and measures to fight crime were discussed.

Vaid also visited the yatra camp at Chan-Aroria and interacted with the pilgrims, the spokesman said, adding the yatris hailed efforts of the police and gave valuable feedback to the officers.

Two Amarnath pilgrims die

Meanwhile, two pilgrims died due to natural causes, taking the toll in this year's pilgrimage to the Amarnath shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas to 14, police said on Sunday.

A woman pilgrim, Lakshmi Bhai (54), a resident of Hyderabad, died due to cardiac arrest at Baltal base camp of the Amarnath yatra in Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir during the night, a police official said.

He said the body is lying at the base camp hospital.

Another pilgrim, Ravinder Nath (72), a resident of Andhra Pradesh, was taken ill and admitted to SKIMS hospital in Soura, Srinagar. He passed away at the hospital on Sunday, the official said.

The toll in this year's yatra, which began on 28 June, has now risen to 14.

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