With the situation remaining tense in violence-hit areas of the Kashmir Valley, authorities on Thursday gave no relaxation in curfew in Sopore, Baramulla and Anantnag and tightened security measures in Srinagar ahead of a proposed march by separatists.
The first batch of Amarnath pilgrims comprising 1,272 people proceeded to 3,880 metre cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas through the traditional Pahalgam and the shorter Baltal routes this morning, officials said.
The pilgrims had reached the twin base camps of Nunwan and Baltal from Jammu last evening. Additional security forces have been deployed on both the routes to ensure safety of the pilgrims.
Curfew restrictions, which were imposed in seven police station areas of Srinagar on June 28 following violence, were further tightened today in the wake of separatists call to the women of the valley to march to 'Pather Masjid' in the old city.
Contingents of women police personnel have also been deployed in the sensitive areas to prevent the march called by hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference headed by its jailed leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
All roads leading to Pather Masjid have been sealed and road blockades erected to prevent the march.
To curb spread of violence in the wake of the killing of youths in alleged firing by security forces, authorities on Wednesday brought under curfew more areas in south Kashmir.
In view of protests in several areas of Anantnag and Kulgam districts yesterday, authorities did not relax curfew in Bijbehara, Mattan, Dooru, Kokernag, Achhabal in Anantnag, and in Kulgam and Pulwama districts.
Meanwhile, life continues to remained disrupted in Srinagar and other parts of the valley with government offices, banks and educational institutions remaining closed and transport services being off the road.