July 23, 2017 8:24:00 pm
A batch of 1,002 pilgrims left Jammu for the 3,888-metre-high Amarnath cave shrine of Lord Shiva in south Kashmir Himalayas on Sunday where over two lakh devotees have paid obeisance this year. According to an official, 1,002 is the lowest number of pilgrims in a single batch, so far, this year. “A batch of 1,002 pilgrims today left Jammu in a convoy of 42 vehicles for twin base-camps of Amarnath shrine. This is the lowest number, so far, this year”, a police officer said. Overall, with on Sunday’s batch, a total of 65,483 pilgrims have left Jammu for Amarnath in 21 batches since the yatra began from Jammu on June 28.
As many as 2,36,515 pilgrims had paid obeisance at the cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas till last evening.
As many as 4,105 pilgrims left Jammu for Amarnath on July 14 followed by another batch of 3,398 pilgrims on July 15. On July 16, 3,603 pilgrims left Jammu for the shrine.
On July 17, the number of pilgrims visiting the cave shrine came down to 2,646 followed by 2,224 on July 18, 1,877 on July 19 and 1,782 on July 20, 1180.
On July 21, 1,180 and on July 22, 1,122 pilgrims left in batch for Amarnath from Jammu. The number of pilgrims who left for the cave shrine today was 1,002.
On July 10, a bus carrying pilgrims in the Anantnag district of south Kashmir was attacked by terrorists. Eight devotees died and 32 were injured in the attack.
According to official figures, as many as 9,719 pilgrims paid obeisance at the Amarnath cave shrine on July 14, followed by 8,638 on July 15.
This figure dipped to 8,024 on July 17, 6,064 on July 18, 5,824 on July 19, 4,723 on July 20, 4,655 on July 21 and 4,518 on July 22, the data said.
The government has mobilised a heavy security blanket of over 35,000 to 40,000 troops including the police, the Army, the BSF and the CRPF for the yatra this year.
The annual yatra began this year amid a terror threat, with intelligence reports warning of a probable attack which prompted the authorities to mobilise the “highest level” of security, including satellite tracking system.
This year, the yatra will conclude on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) on August 7.
Situated in a narrow gorge at the farther end of Lidder Valley, the Amarnath shrine is 46 km from Pahalgam and 14 km from Baltal.
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