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Amarnath Yatra starts amid heavy security in Valley


SRINAGAR:  After gap of three years, the 43-day Amarnath Yatra to the cave shrine in Himalayas will commence on Thursday from Kashmir amid tight security measures. The authorities have put in place several arrangements for the peaceful and smooth conduct of the yatra on both the routes the 48km traditional Pahalgam route and the 14km shortest Baltal route to the pilgrimage site located at a height of 3,880m.

Lt Governor Manoj Sinha on Wednesday flagged off the first batch of 4,890 pilgrims from the Jammu base camp amid chanting of Vedic mantras. The pilgrims began their journey at around 4 am from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp in a cavalcade of 176 light and heavy vehicles.

The convoy was escorted by security vehicles carrying personnel armed with sophisticated weapons. The pilgrims reached the Valley in the evening, from where they would proceed to the Amarnath cave to pay obeisance to the ice lingam.

2 killed in encounter

Two Lashkar militants were killed in an encounter near the yatra route on Wednesday. The encounter took place at the Nawpora area of Mir Bazar in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district. According to the IGP Kashmir, the encounter site was very close to the Amarnath Yatra route.