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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Three pilgrims die on way to Amarnath cave

IANS  Srinagar, June 29, 2014
First Published: 14:34 IST(29/6/2014) | Last Updated: 21:09 IST(29/6/2014)

Three Amarnath pilgrims have died due to various reasons on way to the cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas since the annual yatra began on Saturday, police said on Sunday.

Two pilgrims died when they were hit by shooting stones rolling down the mountains en route the 3,880-metre-high cave shrine this morning, a police spokesman said.

He said the deceased have been identified as Suresh Yadav (35) from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and 28-year-old Tara Singh from Bhatinda in Punjab.

Another pilgrim, Sunil (31), died due to cardiac arrest at Railpathri last evening, the spokesman said.

The 44-day-long Amarnath Yatra began from the shorter Baltal route yesterday with over 10,000 pilgrims performing the 'darshan' of the naturally-formed ice-lingam inside the cave.

The pilgrimage from the traditional Pahalgam route has been deferred for three days as many parts of the 46-kilometre track are still covered by snow.

A decision on starting the yatra from the traditional route will be taken by the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board after reviewing the snow clearance operation tomorrow.

The yatra will end on August 10, coinciding with Raksha Bandhan festival.

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