Amarnath Yatra Death Toll Rises to 21, J&K Guv Announces Ex-Gratia
First batch of Amarnath pilgrims arrive at the base camp at Baltal, in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir on Thursday, 28 June.
First batch of Amarnath pilgrims arrive at the base camp at Baltal, in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir on Thursday, 28 June.(Photo: PTI)
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Amarnath Yatra Death Toll Rises to 21, J&K Guv Announces Ex-Gratia

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Fresh Batch of Pilgrims Leave for Amarnath Yatra

Amid tight security, a fresh batch of 3,451 pilgrims on Friday, 13 July, left a base camp for Kashmir to undertake the annual Amarnath yatra, the police said.

The pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp here in two separate convoys for the twin base camps of Pahalgam in Anantnag district and Baltal in Ganderbal district in the early hours, a police official said.

KEY EVENT

J&K Governor Annnounces Ex-Gratia

Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra on Thursday, 12 July announced an ex-gratia of Rs three lakh each to the next of kin of eight pilgrims who died in various accidents during the Amarnath yatra.

While five pilgrims were killed after being hit by shooting stones on Baltal holy cave route, three others died in road accidents.

The governor, who is also chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), announced the relief during a review meeting held with Chief Executive Officer of the SASB Umang Narula.

Narula informed the Governor that the SASB has given Rs 24 lakh as ex-gratia and spent Rs 5 lakh as transportation cost to take the mortal remains of the pilgrims to their home towns along with one attendant till 11 July.

(With inputs from PTI)

KEY EVENT

Amarnath Yatra Death Toll Rises to 21

An Amarnath pilgrim from Maharashtra died on Thursday of cardiac arrest on the way to the holy cave shrine in Jammu and Kashmir, PTI reported quoting a police officer.

Samarjeet Sarja, 52, died at Domail along the Baltal route in the south Kashmir Himalayas this morning, a police official told PTI.

With this, the death toll in this year’s pilgrimage – which began on June 28 – has gone up to 21.

Amarnath Yatra Resumes After Strike on Sunday

After the yatra was suspended for a day due to a strike being called by separatists over Burhan Wani’s death anniversary, the Amarnath Yatra resumed on Monday, 9 July. Two convoys comprising 2998 pilgrims and 3163 pilgrims each, have left from Jammu for Amarnath shrine through Baltal and Pahalgam routes respectively, reported ANI.

Death Toll in Amarnath Yatra Rises to 14

Two pilgrims have died due to natural causes, taking the death toll in this year's pilgrimage to the Amarnath shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas to 14, police said on Sunday, 8 July, according to PTI.

A woman pilgrim, Lakshmi Bhai (54), a resident of Hyderabad, died due to cardiac arrest at Baltal base camp of the Amarnath yatra in Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir during the night, PTI quoted a police official.

Another pilgrim, Ravinder Nath (72), a resident of Andhra Pradesh, was taken ill and admitted to SKIMS hospital in Soura, Srinagar. He passed away at the hospital on Sunday, the official told PTI.

Yatris Stranded at Jammu Base Camp

Amarnath Yatra pilgrims stranded at Jammu base camp told ANI that they have been waiting since 3-4 days to get tickets to proceed further. ,

“We have been waiting for 3-4 days, no tickets have been issued to us to proceed further, there is a lot of rush here. Authorities cite bad weather as the reason for the delay. We hope the pilgrims are sent ahead soon," said a pilgrim.

Yatra Suspended For Sunday As Separatists Call for Strike

Jammu and Kashmir authorities have suspended the Amarnath yatra for Sunday, 8 July, in view of a strike called by separatists to mark the second death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, police said.

Director General of the Jammu and Kashmir Police S P Vaid said, “You know the (law and order) situation in Kashmir is not good and our effort is to ensure safe yatra for the pilgrims. Tomorrow there is a strike call and we have to stop the yatra. Our duty is to ensure safety of the pilgrims.” He visited Kathua district today and reviewed the arrangements made for the pilgrims arriving from across the country to undertake the annual pilgrimage in south Kashmir Himalayas.

KEY EVENT

2,203 Pilgrims Enroute Amarnath Shrine

A batch of 2,203 Amarnath pilgrims left Jammu on Saturday, 7 July for the cave shrine in the Kashmir Valley, officials told IANS.

The authorities, however, declared the Baltal trek unsafe and suspended the yatra from there.

Due to landslides and shooting stones, the trek from Baltal to the cave shrine is unsafe for the yatris. It has been decided that no yatri will be allowed to move on this trek till the conditions are reviewed
An official told IANS

The pilgrims on Saturday left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in an escorted convoy of 51 vehicles for Kashmir Valley. However, the pilgrims using helicopter services only will be allowed to perform the yatra from Baltal side for the time being.

(IANS)

326 Stranded Pilgrims in Panjtarni Evacuated to Baltal

The authorities on Friday, 6 July evacuated 326 Amarnath pilgrims, who were stranded at Panjtarni due to heavy rainfall, to the Baltal base camp.

"On the directions of Governor N N Vohra, chairman Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, to Shri Umang Narula, Chief Executive Officer of the Shrine Board, evacuation and rescue operations were launched to evacuate the stranded yatris," an official spokesperson said.

He said the virtually non-stop rainfall over the past several days has adversely affected the track conditions, particularly on the Baltal-Sangam-Holy Cave route.

Pilgrims are Safe, Being Given All Facilities: Divisional Commissioner

Sanjeev Verma, of Jammu said that the pilgrims are being given proper and clean facilities.

“Pilgrims staying in lodgement centres have been given adequate facilities. Our focus is on sanitation and cleanliness. Now there are at least 10,000 pilgrims in these centres. All pilgrims are safe and secure here,” said Verma.

J&K Guv Orders Rescue Operations for Stranded Yatris

Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra otdered Chief Executive Officer of Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board, Umang Narul, to launch evacuation and rescue operations to help stranded Yatris from Panjtarni to Baltal with help of three Indian Air Force MI-17 helicopters, reported ANI.

Yatra Resumes From Pahalgam Route

The Amarnath Yatra resumed on Friday, 6 July from the Pahalgam route after a gap of two days while it remained suspended for the third consecutive day from the Baltal route due to landslides.

The yatra was suspended on Wednesday on both routes in the wake of landslides and shooting stones at several places and intermittent rains in the Yatra area.

KEY EVENT

Amarnath Yatra Halted Amid Heavy Rain in J&K

The Amarnath Yatra in south Kashmir was today suspended from Jammu due to inclement weather.

No pilgrim has departed the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas for the cave shrine, Additional District Magistrate Jammu Arun Manhas told PTI.

KEY EVENT

7 Pilgrims Injured During Amarnath Yatra in Ramban District

Seven Amarnath Yatra pilgrims were injured on Wednesday, 4 July in an accident on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in the Ramban district. A vehicle carrying the pilgrims to the Kashmir Valley met with an accident in Chanderkote area of Jammu and Kashmir. The injured have been shifted to hospitals.

Rescue Operations Underway Near Bararimarg

Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel carried out rescue of pilgrims near Bararimarg on Baltal route of Amarnath Yatra on Tuesday night, following a landslide on the route.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh Condoles Death

Home Minister Rajnath Singh expressed grief over the death of pilgrims on the route of the Amarnath Yatra.

In a tweet, Singh wrote:

Five Killed, Three Injured in Landslide

Five persons were killed and three others suffered injures in a landslide on the Baltal route of the Amarnath Yatra in Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir, police told PTI.

"A landslide hit between Railpatri and Brarimarg on the Baltal route," a police official said.

He said the identities of the deceased and the injured were yet to be ascertained and the bodies are being brought to the Baltal base hospital.  Police and other security forces and rescue agencies are on the job, the official said, adding medical response teams were fully alert.  Earlier, a minor flash flood hit the car parking of the Baltal base camp, but there were no casualties.

(With PTI inputs)

KEY EVENT

Death Toll in Amarnath Yatra Rises to 6

Three pilgrims, including two from Andhra Pradesh, died on Tuesday, 3 July, while en route to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath due to various causes.

Thota Radhnam, a 75-year-old woman from Fiwalayam in Andhra Pradesh, died of suspected cardiac arrest in a community kitchen at Baltal base camp on Tuesday morning, a police official told PTI.

Radha Krishna Sastry, 65, hailing from Anantpora in Andhra Pradesh, also died due to cardiac arrest at Sangam near the holy cave, the official said.

He said the bodies of the deceased pilgrims have been kept at the Baltal base camp hospital for further legal proceedings.

Another pilgrim, Pushkar Joshi from Uttarakhand, who was injured due to a shooting stone between Brarimarg and Railpathri on Monday, succumbed at a hospital in Srinagar early on Tuesday, the official said.

(PTI)

Amarnath Yatra Resumes After a Day as Weather Improves

The annual pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir resumed on the Pahalgam and Baltal routes this morning after it was suspended on 30 June due to inclement weather.

Jitendra Singh, MoS PMO told PTI that the administration has moved into action and taken pre-emptive measures to prevent any mishap.

Amarnath Yatra Suspended on Both Routes

Srinagar, Jun 30 (PTI) A total of 587 pilgrims undertook the revered Amarnath Yatra on the third day of the pilgrimage on Saturday, even as the yatra was suspended on both Pahalgam and Baltal routes due to inclement weather.

An official said keeping in view the safety of pilgrims, the yatra remained suspended because of landslides, slippery tracks and shooting stones caused by incessant rainfall.

"At the end of the third day of Shri Amarnathji Yatra, 587 pilgrims paid obeisance at the holy cave," an official spokesman told PTI.

Amarnath Yatra Resumes After Weather Improves

The Amarnath yatra resumed from both on-foot routes i.e., Pahalgam and Baltal routes, after weather improved, ANI reported. Air sorties, organised by the administration, resumed from the Baltal route.

KEY EVENT

Rains Continue, Flood Alert Issued in Central Kashmir

Intermittent rains continued in Kashmir today with authorities sounding a flood alert in central Kashmir, even as water levels started receding in the southern parts of the valley.

The authorities had yesterday issued a flood alert in south Kashmir. Today they issued a flood alert for low-lying areas of the central Kashmir, including the summer capital here, and asked the people to be alert and prepared for evacuation.

 Indo-Tibetan Border Police(ITBP) personnel help pilgrims cross difficult terrain. The Amarnath Yatra was halted due to heavy rainfall in the region on 30 June, 2018.
Indo-Tibetan Border Police(ITBP) personnel help pilgrims cross difficult terrain. The Amarnath Yatra was halted due to heavy rainfall in the region on 30 June, 2018.
(Photo: ANI)

The schools across the valley were closed for today in view of the inclement weather.

"The gauge at Ram Munshi Bagh crossed the flood declaration of 18 feet and was flowing at 20.87 feet at 10 am," an official of the Irrigation and Flood Control Department said.

He said the people living in areas along the embankments of Jhelum river and other streams and in low-lying areas of central Kashmir were advised to remain vigilant.

Yatra Stalled, But Fourth Batch of Pilgrims Reach Jammu Base Camp

The fourth batch of Amarnath Yatra pilgrims reached the Jammu base camp. They have been currently stopped from moving further due to incessant rains in the region, ANI reported.

KEY EVENT

Amarnath Yatra Suspended From All Routes: Reports

The Amarnath yatra has been suspended from all routes on 30 June.

It was suspended from the Baltal route on 29 June following multiple landslides, and from the Pahalgam route on 30 June following a flood warning after the Jhelum river crossed the 21-foot mark in Anantnag.

Authorities sounded a flood alert as the Jhelum river flowed above the critical 21 feet mark at Sangam in south Kashmir's Anantnag district due to heavy rains over the past two days.

"Due to continuous rains from the past two days, the gauge at Sangam has crossed the flood declaration of 21 feet and was flowing at 21.33 feet at 6 pm on 29 June," an official of the Irrigation and Flood Control department said to PTI.

Over 2,294 Pilgrims Pay Obeisance at Amarnath Shrine

Nearly 1,300 pilgrims paid obeisance at the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas on 29 June, an official said.

However, the pilgrimage had to be suspended from both Pahalgam and Baltal routes due to incessant rainfall in the valley. The yatra was suspended due to heavy rainfall along the entire route to the cave shrine, an official of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) said.

He said 1,263 pilgrims had set off from the Nunwan base camp on the morning of 29 June but were asked to halt at Sheshnag till the weather improved.

"At the end of the second day of the Yatra, 1,287 pilgrims paid obeisance at holy cave," he added.

The total number of pilgrims who have performed darshan of the naturally formed ice-lingam has now gone up to 2,294. On 28 June, 1007 pilgrims had paid obeisance at the cave shrine.

(Source: PTI)

CRPF Opens Help Desk at Jammu Railway Station for Amarnath Pilgrims

The CRPF has opened a help desk at the Jammu-Tawi Railway Station to facilitate pilgrims going to the cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas.

KEY EVENT

Amarnath Yatra Suspended From Baltal Route Again

The Amarnath ‘yatra’ to the cave shrine in south Kashmir was on Friday suspended from the Baltal route due to multiple landslides en route caused by heavy rainfall in the valley over the past two days.

“Restoration work is going on but a slight drizzle is hampering restoration work,” an official told PTI.

An official of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) said the ‘yatra’ was going on through the Pahalgam route.

KEY EVENT

Amid Bad Whether, Third Batch of Pilgrims Leave For Amarnath

The third batch of 2,876 pilgrims on Friday, 29 June left Jammu for the base camps in Kashmir Valley to pay obeisance at the shrine of Amarnath.

The pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar base camp in a fleet of 90 vehicles under tight security at around 6:30 am.

CRPF personnel patrol near Amarnath base camp at Baltal, in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir on Thursday. 
CRPF personnel patrol near Amarnath base camp at Baltal, in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir on Thursday. 
(Photo: PTI)

All Security Arrangement Made, No Cause for Worry: J&K Guv

Jammu and Kashmir governor NN Vohra on Thursday said that all arrangements have been made for the security of two-month-long Amarnath pilgrimage, and there is no cause for any worry.

Vohra's comments came amidst "biggest-ever" security blanket thrown to secure pilgrims undertaking the Amarnath pilgrimage which began Wednesday.

CRPF personnel stands guard near Amarnath base camp at Baltal, in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir on Thursday, 28 June.
CRPF personnel stands guard near Amarnath base camp at Baltal, in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir on Thursday, 28 June.
(Photo: PTI)
KEY EVENT

Amarnath Yatra Resumes

Amarnath Yatra resumed on Thursday afternoon after a heavy downpour left the pilgrims stuck in Baltal. “The weather condition has improved now and shrine board has directed to allow the pilgrims to go ahead. For safety, we're sending SDRF and NDRF teams,” Fayaz Ahmad Lone, SSP Ganderbal told ANI.

Pilgrims Advised to Stay Indoors, Rain Deters J&K Guv From Flagging Off Yatra

Pilgrims on the Amarnath Yatra have been told to stay indoors and not stray out on account of heavy rains, India Today reported. The rain also prevented J&K Governor NN Vohra from flagging off the yatra, the report added.

The 60-day annual pilgrimage was scheduled to start from the twin routes of Pahalgam in Anantnag district and Baltal in Ganderbal district this morning but got delayed due to heavy rains, PTI reported.

According to PTI, wide parts of Jammu and Kashmir were lashed by light to heavy rains since last evening, also triggering a landslide on Jammu-Srinagar national highway near Peera. However, timely action by the concerned authorities made the road traffic worthy.

Second Batch of Pilgrims Leave For Yatra From Jammu Base Camp

The second batch of nearly 3500 pilgrims including 592 women and 160 Sadhus today left from Jammu for the base camps in Kashmir valley to undertake the arduous yatra to the 3,880 metre high holy cave shrine of Amarnath.

After getting road clearance, the second batch of 3434 pilgrims left Bhagwati Nagar base camp here for Kashmir in the early hours, officials said, adding they are expected to reach the base camps of Nunwan-Pahalgam and Baltal in the valley later in the day.

Closely Monitoring Situation: Ganderbal Deputy Commissioner

The Deputy Commissioner, Ganderbal said, “We are in constant touch with the IMD & are closely monitoring the situation,” ANI reported.

Pilgrims on the yatra said, “We’re hoping we'll get the permission to resume the yatra soon.”

KEY EVENT

Amarnath Yatra Put on Hold Due to Heavy Rainfall

Vehicles carrying pilgrims were stalled after heavy rains disrupted the Amarnath Yatra
Vehicles carrying pilgrims were stalled after heavy rains disrupted the Amarnath Yatra
(Photo: ANI)

The Amarnath Yatra which was supposed to kick off on Thursday amid tight security cover following an alleged warning of a terror strike, was stalled due to heavy rainfall.

Pilgrims Start Arriving at Baltal Base Camp

The first batch of the Amarnath Yatra pilgrims has arrived at the Baltal base camp in Jammu and Kashmir.

KEY EVENT

Arrangements Made for the Amarnath Yatra

Elaborate security arrangements have been made for the Amarnath Yatra this year, including the deployment of around 40,000 security personnel, the use of radio frequency-based ID tags on Amarnath-bound vehicles as well as bullet-proof SUV police convoys and bullet-proof bunkers.

Radio frequency-based ID tags are being installed on vehicles. We’ll know whenever they would pass by our four reception centres on two routes. If we don’t receive signal from a vehicle, we’ll inform the IG control room and naka points.
Commandant PP Pauly, 73 Batallion, CRPF

The inspector general of police, Jammu, SD Singh Jamwal, assured on Tuesday that security forces are fully alert, adding that adequate measures have been taken to thwart the nefarious designs of anti-national elements and their mentors from across the border.

Considering the carrying capacity of the existing tracks and other available infrastructure in the pilgrimage area, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) has decided to allow 7, 500 pilgrims on each route daily, reported PTI. These are the traditional 36-km route from Pahalgam and the shortest 12-km route from Baltal. This will exclude pilgrims travelling by helicopter.

J&K Governor NN Vohra on Thursday, 12 July announced an ex-gratia of Rs three lakh to the kin of eight pilgrims who died in various accidents during the Amarnath yatra.

Five pilgrims were killed after being hit by shooting stones on Baltal holy cave route, while three others died in road accidents. The death toll, due to various reasons, in this year’s pilgrimage has gone up to 21.

Snapshotclose

  • Since 28 June, 60,752 pilgrims have paid obeisance at the Shivling at the holy cave, the spokesperson said
  • Over two lakh pilgrims have registered for the yatra this year
  • Nearly 40,000 security personnel have been deployed
  • The 60-day yatra is scheduled to conclude on 26 August coinciding with the ‘Raksha Bandhan’ festival
KEY EVENT

Hizbul Mujahideen "Assures" Amarnath Pilgrims' Safety

On Tuesday, the audio clip, purportedly by Hizbul Mujahideen, assured Amarnath pilgrims they have nothing to fear on their pilgrimage.

The voice is purportedly that of Riyaz Naikoo, the commander of the terror group. But the authenticity of the voice clip could not be confirmed.

The 15-minute clip, which circulated on WhatsApp, carried Naikoo's picture.

It welcomed Kashmiri Pandits back to their ancestral homes but warned against any plan to set up separate settlements for them in the Valley.

Our fight is only against India’s occupation of Jammu and Kashmir. We have nothing against the people of India or Amarnath pilgrims who come here for religious reasons. However, they should not connect the pilgrimage to the political issue of Kashmir.
Audio clip

The voice in the clip said that pilgrims need not to worry about their safety and that they can visit Kashmir without security.

"We have hundreds of thousands of Biharis (non-locals) who come to Kashmir as labourers or beggars and are found in every nook and corner of the Valley. Has there been any instance of them being harassed in so many years? Their girls and young women can be seen begging but no one has ever been touched," it said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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