Two pilgrims, including a woman, died of natural causes en route to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in the south Kashmir raising the death toll in the ongoing yatra to five, officials said today.
The woman pilgrim, identified as Bangalore’s Vijaya Raju (51), died of cardiac arrest at the Baltal base camp in Ganderbal district yesterday evening and another Yatri namely, JL Shaw from Kolkata, breathed his last at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura, where he was admitted following illness yesterday, they added.
Meanwhile due to incessant rain, the movement of Yatris from Baltal route was suspended for the day after 7.40 AM today. The CEO of SASb Navin K Choudhary said that till then, 3124 Yatris had crossed Access Control Gate at Domel towards Holy Cave. Remaining Yatris were advised to stay at Baltal Base Camp for the day and, weather permitting, will be allowed to move towards Holy Cave tomorrow when Yatra resumes again. However, Yatris from Pahalgam route were allowed to cross Access Control Gate at Chandanwari till 11.00 AM with a half an hour stoppage at 8.00 AM due to rain. From this side, a total of 5477 Yatris left for Sheshnag and further onwards for the pilgrimage.
As per a statement the CEO has said that on the instructions of Governor of J&K, who is also the Chairman of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, rigorous monitoring of weather situation commenced after last midnight and the CEO has been constantly in touch with the Weather Department, all Camp Directors, District officials and Commandants of various government forces enroute Yatra.
The CEO has directed Camp Director, Domel to finally suspend the movement of Yatris towards Holy Cave for the day around 10.00 AM as weather was not showing any sign of improvement and incessant rains had created slippery condition at various places enroute Yatra from Baltal side. The CEO has also directed Camp Director, Sheshnag to not allow any pilgrim to leave Sheshnag after 11.00 AM towards Panjtarni. He has spoken to the Army Officers and Camp Directors to ensure patrolling by government forces personnel, Rescue Teams of J&K Police, personnel of NDRF and SDRF on Yatra route on continuous basis this afternoon and evening to help any stranded Yatri.
“At the end of 12th day of Yatra yesterday, a total of 1,73,593 pilgrims had performed Darshan at the Holy Cave, at an average of 14,466 number of Yatris performing Darshan per day,” he said.