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Only registered pilgrims for Amarnath yatra: Police

Police today said it will not allow any unregistered person to embark on the upcoming Amarnath yatra this year. This, following the suggestions put forth by the seven member committee headed by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, earlier this year.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Srinagar
UPDATED ON APR 09, 2012 08:26 PM IST

Police on Monday said it will not allow any unregistered person to embark on the upcoming Amarnath yatra this year.

“No unregistered pilgrim will be allowed to move on the two Amarnath yatra routes this year,” Inspector General of Police Kashmir SM Sahai told deputy inspector generals of Kashmir during a meeting.

The meeting also took stock of security related issues and mulled over contingency plans in the event of any weather calamity enroute to the holy cave.

The police statement has come after a sub-committee appointed by the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) suggested measures this year to regulate the yatra to ensure there is no environmental degradation.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar headed seven-member committee in its report submitted earlier this year, underlined the need to not allow unregistered pilgrims.

“No pilgrim would be permitted to embark on pilgrimage to the shrine without securing a registration permit, which shall be valid for a specified date and route,” said the Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s report.

The committee has decided that the yatra will be thrown open on Jyestha Purnima, which is June 4, The 39-day yatra will conclude on Raksha Bandhan, which falls on August 2 this year.

The Amarnath shrine houses an ice lingum (stalagmite) at a height of 3,880 metres in south Kashmir treacherous mountainous area of Pahalgam. The shrine is approached from two areas of Pahalgam and Sonamarg in south and north-east of Srinagar respectively.

Last year, more than six lakh pilgrims paid obeisance to the shrine, which included non-registered pilgrims.

In the wake of deaths of 106 pilgrims last year, the committee has suggested augmentation of health facilities from this year.

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