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Yatra resumes from Pahalgam, remains suspended from Baltal route

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Srinagar, Jul 06: The Amarnath Yatra resumed today from the Pahalgam route after a gap of two days while it remained suspended for the third consecutive day from the Baltal route due to landslides.

The Yatra was suspended on Wednesday on both routes in the wake of landslides and shooting stones at several places and intermittent rains in the Yatra area.

A spokesman of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) said here today that the Yatra resumed from the Pahalgam route in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district this morning.

He, however, said the Yatra remained suspended from the Baltal route in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district due to landslides near the base camp and in Danibagh area of Kangan on the Srinagar-Leh highway.

The landslide at Danibagh also forced the closure of the Srinagar-Leh road – the only road-link connecting the Valley with Ladakh region.

Three pilgrims had died and four others were injured when they came under a landslide between Brarimarg and Railpathri on Baltal route on Tuesday night while two pilgrims were killed by shooting stones over the past three days.

A pilgrim from West Bengal, Sanjay Santra, died near the cave shrine due to cardiac arrest, the official said.

Six other persons have died due to cardiac arrest since the pilgrimage to the 3880-metre high shrine began on June 28, taking the death toll in this year’s pilgrimage to 12.

Meanwhile today, on the 9th day of ongoing Yatra, 4821 pilgrims paid obeisance at cave shrine and till date 73023 pilgrims have had the ‘darshan’ of the Shivling at the cave, officials said.

Pertinently, the pilgrimage remained suspended from Jammu for the second day today as inclement weather in the Valley had left thousands of pilgrims stranded at both Baltal and Pahalgam base camps from where the pilgrims proceed by foot to pay obeisance at 3880-metre high cave shrine.

The Amarnath-bound convoy, which usually leaves Jammu in the early hours, was not allowed for the second day today to avoid overcrowding at the twin base camps in the Valley, an official of the SASB said.

He said a large number of pilgrims were held up at various camps en route to the cave shrine, including Baltal, Nunwan-Pahalgam, Sheshnag and Panjtarni, because of heavy rains which triggered landslides and shooting of stones along the arduous tracks over the past couple of days.

He said the state Governor N N Vohra, who is also Chairman of the Board, visited the camps today to take stock of the situation after cancelling his earlier scheduled visit to Jammu.

The Yatra is scheduled to conclude on August 26, which is coinciding with the ‘Raksha Bandhan’ festival.

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