Union home minister Rajnath Singh begins 2-day Kashmir visit

  • Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Jul 01, 2015 19:18 IST

Union home minister Rajnath Singh will be part of the first batch of about 5,000 pilgrims, who will leave for the annual Amarnath Yatra in Kashmir, on Thursday.

Singh is in the state to take stock of security and other arrangements for the annual pilgrimage. The home minister, who reached Srinagar on Wednesday afternoon was scheduled to have a detailed discussion with governor NN Vohra, who heads the Amarnath Shrine Board.

The BJP leader will also review the security arrangements for this year's Amarnath Yatra along with chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and senior officials of state and central security forces.

Singh is on a two-day visit to the state and will join pilgrims on July 2 for the first prayer at the holy cave situated at an altitude of 3,888 metres in the South Kashmir.

The annual Amarnath Yatra will begin from Jammu for its onward journey to the shrine of Lord Shiva. Pilgrims are being ferried in buses and trucks flagged off from Bhagwati Nagar base camp in Jammu early on Wednesday.

The Yatra will be escorted by heavy contingent of security forces to twin base camps of Amarnath cave shrine in Baltal in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir and Pahalgam belt of South Kashmir.

About 2,400 additional personnel of BSF have been deployed across the state and en route to the shrine to ensure smooth conduct of the Yatra.
The 59-day-yatra will start from July 2 and conclude on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) on August 29.

Over two lakh pilgrims have been registered so far, while 20,000 will be visiting the holy cave in helicopters.

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