Amarnath yatra not curtailed due to pressure: Shrine Board
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Last Updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 00:09
Jammu: A member of Sri Amarnathji Shrine Board on Tuesday asked people not to be swayed by baseless rumours that the annual yatra to the popular cave shrine in Pahalgam in South Kashmir was curtailed by a fortnight due to pressure from some groups.

The Board made it clear that inclement weather was the factor behind cutting short by two weeks the two-month yatra which traditionally begins on June 15. It will now commence on June 29.

"It has come to my notice that some people are creating rumours that the board came under pressure from anti-religious elements to curtail the duration of the Yatra. As a member of the Sri Amarnathji Shrine Board, I would like to say that these allegations are baseless," Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Member, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, said in a statement.

The board decided to begin this year's Amarnath Yatra from June 29 and the date was decided after ensuring that none of the pilgrims get stranded due to bad weather like during the previous pilgrimages.

"I also request people not to be swayed by rumours and not to do anything that would disrupt the peace and harmony of the region," he said.

"The date was also determined to secure the safety and convenience of lakhs of pilgrims who travel long distances, from various States in India to undertake this holy Yatra.

"Considering the weather pattern during June in the past years, the Shrine Board was not inclined to commence the Yatra before 1st July. However, the Shrine Board decided that the pilgrimage should begin on June 29, 2011...which is good for the commencement of the holy Yatra," he said.

He appealed to all those pilgrims planning to begin their yatra from June 15 to cooperate with the decision of the Shrine board and "not to play into the hands of those who want to disturb the peace." June 15 is also not an auspicious day, he said.

Ravi Shankar's statement came against the backdrop of a threat by a little known amalgam -- Baba Amarnath Yatri Niyas (BAYN)-- ostensibly backed by VHP and Bajrang Dal, that they would commence Amarnath pilgrimage from June 15 instead of June 29 as announced by the SASB.


First Published: Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 00:09

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