As many as seven Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrims were injured en route to the Holy Cave at Bhawan late on Saturday night by shooting stones triggered by landslide.
According to SP Katra Kulbir Singh, a landslide occurred late on Saturday night on the shorter route between Adhkuwari and Bhawan around 11 pm at Devi Dwar, around one kilometre from Adhkuwari. Seven pilgrims were injured in the incident.
"With the help of Shrine Board workers, the injured were taken to the base camp at Katra from where they were shifted to the Government Medical College Hospital Jammu for advanced treatment", he added.
Soon after the incident, the Board cleared the landslide debris. The landslide occurred due to heavy rains lashing the entire Jammu region for the past couple of days.
The condition of injured were stated to be stable with most of them suffering from soft tissue injuries with fractures on legs and arms.
The injured were identified as Phool Devi (60), Ram Dass Rathore (45) and Shubam Rathore (14) - all family members from Gwalior, Madya Pradesh. The injured couple, Vijay Kumar (34) and his wife Anita (27), are from Bihar. The other injured included Vishwa Nath (51) of Horwah, West Bengal and Satinder (60) from Gwalior.
Narrating the incident, injured Vijay Kumar said, "We left around 10pm. After one hour and covering a distance of one kilometer, we heard the noise that stones are rolling from rocks. Before I could realise, a shooting stone hit me. After half-an-hour, I gained consciousness and found the Shrine Board workers surrounding me. Later on, they took us to Katra and gave us first aid. Later, we came to the Jammu hospital".
Showering praise on the Shrine Board for taking good care of them, Kumar said, "They have taken good care of us. Their staff accompanied us to the Jammu hospital when we reached here around 2am. Now, the Board has positioned around 10 staff members who are assisting us in treatment and providing us essential items."
The Holy Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi has been witnessing heavy rush for the last couple of days due to extended weekend starting the Independence Day holiday on Friday. Due to heavy downpour, especially on the yatra track, the yatra was moving at a snail's pace. However, the weather has improved on Sunday.
As per reports, 51000 and 52000 pilgrims left Katra for Bhawan on Friday and Saturday respectively. Earlier, the record of pilgrims travelling on a single day was 51000 in December 31, 2013.