Amarnath yatra has a great significance for hindu and people from even far flung area of India waits for a year. Fear of not returning back from yatra safely to their home due to activities of terrorist, has never been seen on the faces of these devotees.
But this year, amid unprecedented security, the fear is luring on the face of pilgrims as governor’s rule was imposed in the state following the collapse of the PDP-BJP government in the Valley. So there is a volatile situation in south Kashmir through which the yatra passes.
But even though situation is so unpredictable, the two-month-long annual Amarnath Yatra, for which 1.96 lakh pilgrims from different parts of the country have registered this year, begins on Thursday.
Also, two days ahead of the beginning of the annual Amarnath yatra, the Hizbul Mujahideen militant group in Kashmir has apparently said it has no plans to attack the pilgrimage.
An audio message believed to be from Hizbul Mujahideen operational commander Riyaz Ahmad Naikoo sought to assure pilgrims that they could go on the yatra this year even without security cover. “You don’t need any security as you are our guests,’’ Naikoo said in the 15-minute audio clip being circulated on social media.
Inspite of these assurance,the first batch of pilgrims, headed for the cave shrine of Lord Shiva, was escorted from the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in Jammu for the Kashmir Valley amid three-tier security on Wednesday.
The pilgrimage is being conducted under unprecedented security as yatra has started days after The Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), headed by governor NN Vohra, which manages the affairs of the yatra, has this year decided to restrict at pilgrims numbers to be allowed to proceed towards the shrine each day to 7,500, from each route. This does not include pilgrims who use the helicopter services from the two base camps to the shrine.
Three lakh pilgrims are expected to undertake the yatra that concludes on August 26, coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival.