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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Amarnath Yatra suspended due to bad weather

Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, June 29, 2013
First Published: 10:16 IST(29/6/2013) | Last Updated: 23:38 IST(29/6/2013)

The ongoing Amarnath yatra was suspended on Saturday due to inclement weather and to control heavy rush of devotees thronging the 13,500 feet cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas.

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“The yatra has been suspended and no devotee is been allowed to proceed for Darshan due to heavy showers around the cave and base camp areas,'' said a senior official.

While Yatris who have no formal registeration for the yatra have been turned back, those registered for the pilgrimage today have been asked to stay at the langars and not proceed towards the cave till weather clears.

The annual yatra, one of the holiest for Hindus was started on June 28 with around 12,000 yatris performing darshan on the first day.

Light snowfall at the cave and incessant rains lashed the Baltal track during the night, rendering it slippery at many places. As a result, the yatra was suspended.

``No fresh batches are been allowed from Jammu as well in view of bad weather conditions and heavy rush of pilgrims at the cave shrine and enroute from Baltal and Pahalgam routes,'' the official added.

These steps have been taken in view of the heavy rush of pilgrims at cave shrine and also bad weather conditions prevailing in Baltal and Pahalgam routes to cave shrine since the last two days.

Around 12,000 unregistered and unscheduled pilgrims were returned on first day of the Amarnath yatra on Friday.

According to the district police authorities, 8,000 unregistered unscheduled pilgrims were returned from Ananatnag district, 35 km away from Pahalgam in south Kashmir. At least, 4000 pilgrims were returned from Manigam in Ganderbal, 40 km away from Baltal routes in north-east of Srinagar.

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