The Amarnath Yatra has been suspended from Jammu due to inclement weather conditions and no fresh batches are allowed to carry out the pilgrimage now, officials said on Sunday, 10 July.
"Amarnath Yatra has been suspended from Jammu to twin base camps in Kashmir due to inclement weather. No fresh batch was allowed to move towards Amarnath," an official said, as per news agency PTI.
Meanwhile, at least five pilgrims, including two women, were reported missing on Sunday.
Officials said that the five pilgrims were from Andhra Pradesh and have remained ‘untraced’ since the tragedy unfolded.
The Andhra Pradesh government has dispatched AP Bhavan Additional Resident Commissioner Himanshu Kaushik to Srinagar to coordinate with the local authorities and ensure the safety of all pilgrims from the state, as per an official release quoted by PTI.
The state government has also set up a dedicated helpline number – 1902 – for pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh.
Rescue Operations Underway
Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force deployed four Mi-17s and four Cheetal helicopters for rescue and relief efforts at the Amarnath shrine on Saturday, 9 July. The Cheetal helicopters, carrying five National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and army personnel, evacuated 45 survivors from the shrine.
The Indian Army said in a statement on Sunday, "Amarnath rescue operations continued overnight. No further bodies recovered. No movement of devotees allowed ahead of base camps. Convoys permitted only to Jammu from base camp areas. Addl portable through-wall radar, earth-moving equipment being inducted."
The army has also deployed sophisticated rescue equipment to speed up the rescue operations.
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) also said that rescue operations have been intensified.
The route to Amarnath has been damaged and repairs are speculated to take days, reported ANI.
The Amarnath Yatra 2022 commenced on 30 June from the twin base camps – Nunwan in Pahalgam of south Kashmir's Anantnag and Baltal camp in central Kashmir's Ganderbal district.
The 43-day pilgrimage, which was halted in 2019 and 2020 due to COVID-19, was scheduled to conclude on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan, on 11 August.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI.)