October 16, 2021

Amarnath Yatra called off due to current Covid-19 crisis

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Jammu and Kashmir lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha declared the decision on Monday of calling off the yearly Amarnath pilgrimage due to the current scenario of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Sinha iterated that all rituals however will be held.

Sinha took the call after a discussion with the shrine board. On his Twitter handle, he wrote, Shri Amarnathji Yatra cancelled in wake of Covid-19 pandemic. Decision after threadbare discussion with Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board members. Yatra to be symbolic only. However, all the traditional religious rituals shall be performed at the Holy Cave Shrine as per past practice.”

He further added, “It’s important to save people’s lives. So, it is not advisable to hold and conduct this year’s pilgrimage in the larger public interest.”

The 56-day yatra covering the 3,880-metre-high cave shrine of Lord Shiva located in the upper reaches of South Kashmir Himalayas was planned to begin from the twin routes of Pahalgam and Baltal starting from June 28 and will terminate on August 22.

In the last week, Sinha was a part of the meeting held by Union Home Minister Amit Shah for taking stock of the present security situation in Jammu & Kashmir, apart from the subject of development initiatives. The meeting was also attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla along with top security and intelligence officers.

Earlier, on April 22, the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) had put a temporary ban over the registration of the pilgrims for the yearly pilgrimage with the current scenario of Covid-19 in the country.

The pilgrimage was also canceled in 2020 due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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