Srinagar: Authorities on Sunday suspended the Amarnath pilgrimage from Jammu for a day following a strike called by militants to mark the second death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani across Kashmir.
“In view of law and order situation in South Kashmir where three civilians died in clashes with security forces on Saturday and militant Burhan Wani’s death anniversary, no fresh batch of pilgrims was allowed from Yatri Niwas base camp in Jammu on Sunday,” said an official at the Yatri Niwas control room.
Only pilgrims already in Baltal and Pahalgam will be allowed to move towards the cave shrine.
Separatists on Saturday had given a call for strike on Sunday across Kashmir on the second death anniversary of the Hizbul commander. Director general of police Shesh Paul Vaid said the decision to suspend the yatra from Jammu was taken in view of the law and order situation in Kashmir.
“You know the (law and order) situation in Kashmir is not good and our effort is to ensure safe yatra for the pilgrims. Tomorrow, there is a strike call and we have to stop the yatra. Our duty is to ensure safety of the pilgrims,” the DGP said at Kathua on Saturday.
Last year, a militant attack on a bus in Anantnag left at least seven pilgrims dead. The pilgrims were returning from the cave shrine of Amarnath. This year the CRPF have gone for radio frequency tagging of vehicles for the Amarnath yatra to keep track of the pilgrims.
Till date, 83,130 pilgrims have paid obeisance at the shrine. The current edition of the pilgrimage which began on June 28 has been blighted by bad weather.