The annual Amarnath Yatra which began yesterday, amid tight security, today resumed after being briefly halted due to bad weather.
Pilgrims from both Baltal and Pahalgam base camps in Jammu and Kashmir starting their journey for the 3880-metre-high cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas were earlier stopped by security forces this morning, CNN IBN reported.
Over 2,000 pilgrims left the Jammu base camp for their onward journey to the cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir amid tight security arrangements. The third batch of pilgrims, consisting of 2,370 devotees, left from Bhagwati Nagar base camp in Jammu at around 4:55 AM,
police said, adding that the convoy included 74 vehicles. The batch comprised of 1,773 men, 356 women, and 47 children, apart from 194 sadhus.
Heightened security measures have been put in place for the 55-day Yatra following intelligence inputs that militants might attempt to target the pilgrimage. Besides, heavy deployment of security force has also been made along the highways used by the pilgrims to reach the transit and the base camps.
State police and the central reserve police force (CRPF) have been deployed all along the twin routes to ensure safety and security of the pilgrims.
For the first time, the access control agencies are carrying out thorough checks of the pilgrims and their documentation before allowing them to proceed.
"We have turned back over 4,000 pilgrims who were either without registration permits or had permits for a later date," DIG Police central Kashmir Syed Ahfadul Mujtaba told IANS.
Supreme Court had issued guidelines for the Amarnath Yatra this year after a PIL was Filed in July 2012 following a large number of deaths during last year's Yatra.
Amarnath cave shrine is located at 13,000 feet above the sea level. The distance from north Kashmir's Baltal base camp to the cave shrine is around 14 km and the pilgrims are able to return after 'Darshan' the same day.
With inputs from IANS
Updated Date: Jun 29, 2013 11:43 AM