After remaining suspended for two days consecutively owing to separatists strike in Kashmir valley, the Swami Amarnath yatra resumed from Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas here early this morning with a batch of 454 pilgrims leaving for holy cave under tight security measures.
These pilgrims including 63 women left for twin base camps of Baltal and Nunwan -Pahalgam.
The yatra was suspended from Jammu on Sunday, in view of the separatist-sponsored two-day strike in protest against the legal challenge to the validity of Article 35A, which provides special rights and privileges to the natives of Jammu and Kashmir.
A police official said the 36th batch of 454 pilgrims, comprising 391 men and 63 women, left the base camp in a convoy of 11 vehicles under tight security.
While 230 pilgrims, including 30 women, have opted to undertake the yatra from the shortest 12-km Baltal route in Ganderbal district of Central Kashmir, 194 others, including 33 women, are performing the yatra from the traditional 36-km Pahalgam track, in Anantnag district of South Kashmir, the official said, adding the pilgrims heading for Pahalgam also included 33 Sadhus.
Due to the suspension of yatra for two days the number of pilgrims visiting holy cave from both Baltal and Chandanwari tracks was very less.
According to an officer on yatra duty, 384 pilgrims paid obeisance to naturally formed Shivlingam in holy cave on 41st day of darshan today. It is the lowest number of pilgrims performing darshan in cave shrine since the yatra started on June 28.
The officer said till date 2,74, 466 pilgrims have performed darshan at the holy cave.
He said majority of these pilgrims have returned to their home States while others are on the way back.
The officer said, 87pilgrims left for holy cave from Baltal base camp this morning while 60 pilgrims left by chopper. A very less number of 40 pilgrims left for holy cave from Nunwan-Chandanwari track, he added.
He said the pilgrims camping at transit camps of Sheshnag and Panjtarni also left for their onwards sojourn early this morning. There are about 800 pilgrims camping at Baltal base camp for night and they included those yatris also who had returned from holy cave after performing darshan, he added.
He said the pilgrims stranded at Baltal and Manigam transit camp, also left for Srinagar this morning as two day strike call ended.
He said the weather remained cloudy during the day but there was no disturbance in the movement of yatra on both the tracks. However, the rush has considerably declined and in comparison to first fortnight of darshan when thousands of pilgrims used to pay obeisance in holy cave daily, the number has reached to a paltry few hundreds now.
He said maximum ‘langars’ as well as ponywallas have shifted from the yatra area following the decline in pilgrims rush and there is no hustle and bustle in the base camps and transit camps, which used to be seen during the first fortnight.
The 60-day annual yatra commenced from the twin tracks on June 28. It is scheduled to conclude on August 26, coinciding with Shravan Purnima and Raksha Bandhan festival after the holy mace of Lord Shiva reached the cave shrine from its abode Dashnami Akhara, Srinagar in Kashmir valley.
The holy mace led by its sole custodian, Mahant Deependra Giri of Dashnami Akhara will enroute pay obeisance at historic Durga Nag temple Srinagar, Shiv temple of Pampore, Awantipora, Bijbehara, Nagbal Anantnag, holy Sun temple of Mattan, Ganeshpora temple and Pahalgam before leaving for cave shrine.
After reaching holy cave in the morning of August 26, it will start the return journey on the same day and have a night halt at Panjtarni. It will leave for the Pahalgam from Panjtarni next day where the performance of religious rituals and immersion ceremonies in river Lidder will mark the culmination of annual yatra as per tradition.
Soldier killed in Pak sniping
Pakistani troops last night sniped a soldier along the Line of Control (LoC) in Tanghdar sector of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district while militants abducted and killed a man in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district and police today arrested two Over Ground Workers (OGWs) of militants involved in rifle snatching.
Pakistani troops last night sniped a soldier of 20-Jat Regiment deployed on Sangar post on the LoC in Tanghdar sector. Sepoy Pushpinder (320658L) was critically injured in the sniping and later succumbed to his injuries.
Sources said that Pakistan troops from Mujahid post opposite to Sangar post shot at the soldier during the night. The Army also fired back but there were no reports of loss on Pakistani side.
And militants last night abducted and killed a man in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district while two Over Ground Workers of militants involved in rifle snatching were arrested today.
The gunmen barged into the house of Gulzar Ahmad Bhat son of Abdul Gani Bhat, resident of Murran, Pulwama and abducted him. His bullet riddled body was recovered in the morning. He was running an eye clinic at Bijbehara.
A police spokesman said here:”Terrorists in Murran Pulwama yesterday night barged inside the house of Gulzar Ahmad Bhat son of Abdul Gani Bhat, resident of Murran, Pulwama and abducted him.”
“Later, police recovered the bullet riddled dead body of Gulzar from the nearby fields of Murran, Pulwama. Police has registered a case and initiated investigation. Initial investigation in the matter suggested that in this incident Zahoor Thokar and Showkat Dar led group of proscribed terror outfit HM are involved in this killing”, the spokesman added.
In the meantime, police said that they arrested two OGWs of militants in connection with rifle snatching incident in Khrew, Pampore.
Police said that on August 10, two persons barged inside Jammu and Kashmir Bank Branch Khrew and attacked Bank guard Mumtaz Ahmad with pepper spray and sharp edged weapon in an attempt to snatch his 12 bore rifle. “But the security guard bravely resisted the attempts made to snatch his rifle thereby successfully foiling the rifle snatching bid,” police said.
The guard Mumtaz sustained injuries and was evacuated to Khrew hospital for medical treatment while the accused persons fled away from the spot.
“Consequent upon this, case FIR No. 57/2018 under relevant Sections of law was registered at police station Khrew and the investigation in the matter was initiated,” police said adding “during the course of investigation it came across that two OGWs namely Yasir Ahmad Wani son of Bashir Ahmad resident of Babapora and Yawar Sultan son of Mohammad Sultan resident of Shar Shali, Khrew were involved in commission of crime and were subsequently arrested”, police said
Yatra suspended for 3 days
Holy Amarnath yatra was suspended from Jammu to Srinagar for three consecutive days from today for security reasons and no pilgrim was allowed to leave for holy cave from here.
The yatra will also remain suspended on August 14 and 15 from Jammu to twin base camps of Baltal in Ganderbal district of Central Kashmir and Nunwan -Pahalgam in South Kashmir district of Anantnag due to security reasons, official sources said.
However, the yatra from Baltal plied normally today and 657 pilgrims paid obeisance holy cave of Swami Amarnath Ji on 47th day of darshan today, an Officer on yatra duty said.
He said till date 2,79,535 pilgrims performed darshan in the holy cave since the two month long yatra started on June 28.
The officer said no yatri was allowed to leave for holy cave from traditional Chandanwari track and yatra remained suspended from Nunwan Base camp also today.
He said, however, 153 pilgrims from Baltal base camp left for holy cave early this morning for darshan while 81 left by chopper during the day.
He said the traffic from both the base camps to Jammu will remain suspended tomorrow and day after tomorrow due to security reasons and no pilgrim will be allowed to leave for Jammu during these two days.
Meanwhile, in connection with annual pilgrimage of Chhari-Mubarak, Swami Amarnathji, ‘Chhari-Sthapana’ ceremony was performed with chanting of Vedic hymn at Shri Amareshwar Temple, Akhara Building, Budshah Chowk, Srinagar this morning by a group of Sadhus led by Mahant Deependra Giri Ji, the sole custodian of the holy mace and the head of True Trust formed by him in 2004. It took more than two hours completing the rituals.
Chhari-Mubarak (holy mace), one depicting Lord Shiva and another Goddess Parvati shall be kept in the temple at Akhara building Srinagar for ‘darshan’ till it leaves for main course of pilgrimage on August 20.
Pilgrims and public in general have the privilege to have ‘darshan’ of holy mace kept in Shri Amareshwar Temple, Dashnami Akhara Srinagar during these days.
Traditional ‘Chhari-Pujan’ will be performed on August 15 on the occasion of ‘Nag-Panchami’ (Shravan Shukla Paksha Panchami) at Dashnami Akhara, Srinagar.
‘The True Trust’, founded by Mahant Deependra Giri Ji has made all the necessary arrangements like yester years for Sadhus and needy from the general public coming from across the country to join Chhari-Mubarak of Swami Amarnath Ji Yatra for their food, accommodation and transportation during the annual pilgrimage.
Then Charri Mubarak which will leave Dashnami Akhara on August 20 will reach Pahalgam on the dame day after performing puja enroute at Durga Nag temple lying in the foothills of Shankracharya hill lock in Srinagar, Shiv temple of Pampore, Awantipora, Bijbehara, Anantnag, Sun temple of Mattan, Ganeshbal before reaching Pahalgam. After having two days halt at Pahalgam, the holy mace will leave for cave shrine situated at an altitude of 3880 meters in deep Himlayas on August 22 to reach there in the wee hours of Shravan Purnima coinciding with Raksha bandhan festival on August 26.
After performing the puja for the whole day in the holy cave the Chhari Mubarak will leave for Panchtarni in the evening same day. After a night halt at Panchtarni it will leave for Pahalgam next day where with the performance of immersion ceremonies and other rituals on the bank of river Lidder in a traditional way, the holy mace will return to its abode Dashnami Akhara, Srinagar marking the end of two month long annual Amarnath yatra.
Wanah Organic launched
JAMMU: Wanah Organic Food Products (P) Limited was launched today in a grand function at Hotel Ramada, KC City Centre Jammu.
The launch was done by the reputed dignitaries including former Minister and MLA Inderwal, GM Saroori, DCC president, Kishtwar, Mohinder Parihar, noted entrepreneur, Tahir Rufayee, State president, NSUI Raqeeq Khan,Dr.Mubashar Mir and founder and CEO of the Company, Thakur Randeep Bhandari.
On the occasion, e-commerce website of Wanahorganic.com was also launched. Speaking on the launching ceremony, MLA Inderwal, it is high time for youth to start something productive which can benefit the society.
While speaking on the occasion, CEO of the Company told the gathering that it was his dream project and after working hard for 2 years he has become able to launch the company and its e-commerce website. He said that Wanah Organic will be selling the organic products which are specially found in J&K through their e-commerce website.
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