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Amarnath Yatra 2020 put on hold by government

Last Updated on July 23, 2020 at 6:25 pm

Amarnath Yatra – the annual pilgrimage to the cave shrive of lord Shiva in South Kashmir- has been put on hold owing to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu, Chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), presided over the 38th Board Meeting held at the Raj Bhavan.

The Chairman observed that there are 77 Red zones identified in the Kashmir valley from where the Yatra routes pass. Due to this Pandemic, the establishment of Langars, Medical facility, Camp establishment, Material mobilization, Snow clearance etc. are not possible.

He further emphasized that though the Government of India extended the nationwide lock down till 3rd May, it is highly unpredictable to know which direction will it take beyond. The safety of the Yatris is our prime importance, he maintained.

The Board decided that a decision on the Amarnath Yatra will be taken keeping all options in mind. It was also decided by the Board that the Pratham Pooja and Sampann Pooja will be done with traditional fervour. It was also decided that Board would explore the possibility of telecasting the Pooja and darshan of Shivlinga online and through other media for millions of devotees worldwide. The Board members expressed that not organizing of Amarnathji Yatra should also set an example for all during the prevailing circumstances of pandemic to avoid such congregations.

The government had earlier cancelled the annual pilgrimage but later rebutted and stated that the decision to hold the pilgrimage would be taken after considering all possibilities.

Amarnath Yatra 2019 was also stopped middle way before August 5 when government announced bifurcation and granting of Union Territory status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Coronavirus cases in Kashmir region are increasing everyday making it difficult for the authorities to allow the pilgrimage in which lakhs of Hindu pilgrims take part every year. Allowing them to visit Kashmir can put their lives in danger.

Government had earlier postponed the registration for Amarnath Yatra 2020.