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Amarnath yatra not curtailed due to pressure: Shrine Board

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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