The government has decided not to allow pilgrims undertake the journey towards Amarnath cave on the Pahalgam route as they fear devotees might be caught up in stone-throwing protests, which the authorities fear might break out on Sunday, the day of HizbulMujahideen commander BurhanWani's second death anniversary.
Director General of Police, SP Vaid on Saturday told the stranded Amarnathyatris at Lakhanpur that administration and police cannot allow the yatra via the Pahalgam route.
"There are chances of stone pelting in parts of Kashmir Valley on July 8 and if the yatra is allowed, some pilgrims can also be targeted. So, we cannot take risk. Today, the yatra has been allowed via Pahalgam route," the DGP told the yatris. He was visiting there to look at the facilities provided to the pilgrims at camp sites.
He asked the yatris to visit some major pilgrimage-tourist destinations of Jammu including Sukrala Mata temple in Billawar and Vaishno Devi temple in Katra town of Reasi district until and unless a green signal to allow the yatra comes from Kashmir.
He told the pilgrims that there was a militant threat to yatris: "Militant outfit, LeT has also issued a threat on the yatra on Burhan's death anniversary. So, we are not going to allow anyone on July 8."
On being asked by a woman pilgrim about resuming of yatra from Jammu today, he said, "The yatra has been allowed only via Baltal route and not via Pahalgam route. Tomorrow, we will assess the situation to decide the future course of action. If we get the clarity, the yatra will be allowed from Lakhanpur via all the routes on July 9."
Replying to a media query about yatra arrangements, the DGP said that Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) has made elaborate arrangements for the yatris and "as far as security related arrangements are concerned, police and paramilitary forces have been trying their level best to ensure smooth conduct of yatra."