Over 4,800 pilgrims leave Jammu base camp to join Amarnath Yatra

NewsDrum Desk
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Jammu, Jul 11 (PTI) Amid tight security arrangements, more than 4,800 pilgrims left Jammu city in the early hours of Thursday for the twin base camps in Kashmir to join the annual Amarnath Yatra, officials said.

The 14th batch of 4,885 pilgrims left in 191 vehicles for twin base camps of Baltal and Palagam at 3.06 am and were escorted by CRPF security, they said.

Following the terror attack and ongoing operations, security has been further intensified in and around Bhagwati Nagar base camp and along the yatra route.

The batch comprising 2,366 men, 1,086 women, 32 children and 163 'sadhus' and 'sadvis' left in a cavalcade of buses and light motor vehicles from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp, the officials said.

While 2,991 pilgrims took the traditional 48-km Pahalgam route for their yatra, 1,894 others opted for the shorter but steep 14-km Baltal route, they said.  With this, a total of 77,210 pilgrims have left the Jammu base camp for the valley since June 28 when Lt Governor Manoj Sinha flagged off the first batch.  The 52-day yatra began from June 29 and will conclude on August 19.  More than 4.5 lakh pilgrims paid obeisance at the cave shrine last year.  The security has been intensified at the basecamp in Jammu, lodging centres, arrival centre at Lakhanpur and highway in wake of the threat perception, the officials said.

Area dominations has been strengthened along highway and checking of vehicles and frisking of people intensified around the places of yatra, they added. PTI AB BHJ BHJ