Pilgrims lives can't be risked: Sri Sri
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who was chairman of a sub-committee of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board that had suggested curtailment of yatra, has said the lives of yatris can't be risked by allowing yatra right now as the tracks are still covered under five to 10 feet of snow.Updated: Jun 05, 2012, 19:28 IST
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who was chairman of a sub-committee of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board that had suggested curtailment of yatra, has said the lives of yatris can't be risked by allowing yatra right now as the tracks are still covered under five to 10 feet of snow.
In a statement issued on June 4, he had said," We cannot risk the lives of thousands of people without any infrastructure. We want the yatra to be safe and comfortable for people."
Chief minister Omar Abdullah on Monday had tweeted, "Actually, it was reduced by a committee headed by Sri Sri Ravishankar ji. But that bit of truth doesn't suit you, does it."
The statement quotes Ravi Shankar saying, "I would like to clarify to the Shiva Bhakts who are eager to go on the Amarnath yatra that we sincerely wanted to keep the yatra from Jyeshta Purnima onwards."
"I know that due to the past history there is suspicion, but I would like to ensure people that there was no pressure and that myself and other saints would have stepped down from the Amarnath Shrine Board a long time ago if it were the case. The government is all willing and co-operative," said Ravi Shankar.
He said there was no pressure from any individual or organisation on us. It was purely a logistical challenge to ensure the safety of the yatris. A sub-committee was established for the purpose.
Ravi Shankar said he had a detailed discussion with the state government. Only after taking a serious consideration of logistics, weather conditions and the preparedness to host thousands of yatris was it decided to commence the yatra towards the end of June, this year.
He said the weather report presented to them showed that there was too much snow and the army was helpless to clear the tracks.
In response to the statement, Omar had tweeted: "Excellent statement by Sri Sri Ravi shankar ji about the Amarnath yatra. I hope someone tweets a link to it soon because I can't fit it here.
The Hindu organisation want the yatra to start on June 4 and make it a 60-day event, while the Amarnath Shrine Board, whose chairman is governor NN Vohra, has announced a 39-day run starting from June 25.
The yatra, which was of 30 days in 2002, became a 60-day affair by 2005 but in 2011 it went on for 46 days.