Two pilgrims died on Tuesday after paying obeisance at the 3,880-metre high holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir, taking the death toll in the ongoing yatra to six, officials said. Chander Shakher (73), resident of Karnataka, fell unconscious after performing ‘darshan’ near the cave shrine around 11.35 AM. He was rushed to base camp hospital where doctors declared him as brought dead, they said.
His body was handed over to his relatives for last rites, the officials said. Shiva Kanth Mishra (59), resident of Uttar Pradesh, suffered cardiac arrest when he was retuning from the cave shrine, at Brarimarg along the Baltal-cave route resulting in his on the spot death, they said.
Their death raised the number of pilgrims, who died in the ongoing yatra, which began on June 29, to six. Besides, an Assistant Sub-Inspector of ITBP died of heart attack at Brarimarg on June 28 during deployment of the forces along the tracks for the security of the pilgrims.
The 40-day annual yatra, which commenced from the twin tracks of Pahalgam in Anantnag district and Baltal in Ganderbal district, is scheduled to culminate on August 7, coinciding with the Raksha Bandhan festival. So far, over 70,000 pilgrims had offered prayers at the cave shrine, housing the naturally formed ice-lingam.