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Decision to cancel Amarnath Yatra not pleasant but appropriate: Mahant Deependra Giri

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Srinagar: Mahant Deependra Giri, the custodian of the Charri Mubarak of Amarnath, the holy mace of Lord Shiva, on Tuesday said the decision to cancel the annual pilgrimage for the second consecutive year was “not pleasant” but an appropriate one, keeping in mind the COVID-19 pandemic and the safety of the pilgrims and the staff involved.

“The annual Amarnath pilgrimage has been cancelled this year like last year. Though the decision is not pleasant, it is appropriate in view of the (Covid) pandemic and for the safety of the pilgrims and the staff involved in the yatra,” Giri said in a statement.

The Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board decided to cancel this year’s pilgrimage on Monday in view of the pandemic. The board said the ritualistic aspects of the yatra will be conducted and the proceedings streamed live on certain platforms.

Giri hoped that the countrymen would be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the next year’s yatra and the pilgrimage would also resume.

“I hope by this time next year, the citizens of our country will be fully vaccinated and we can have the usual and normal pilgrimage,” he said.

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