Jammu: A large number of Amarnath pilgrims who assembled here on Sunday to leave for the cave shrine in Kashmir courted arrest after the state administration did not allow them to start the pilgrimage before the scheduled date.
Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) has fixed June 25 the date to commence the religious journey and it will conclude on August 2.
Around 600 yatris from across the country assembled at Parade area early morning to leave for the cave shrine but they were stopped by police from commencing the journey. After protesting for two hours, the pilgrims courted arrested and was taken to Yatra Nivas in Bhagwati Nagar, officials said.
The devotees demanded that the government extend the duration of the yatra to two months starting from Jayeshth Purnima tomorrow.
They accused the government and the Board of deliberately trying to curtail the period of the pilgrimage at the "behest of separatist forces".
SASB had cited bad road and inclement weather as the reasons behind the decision to curtail the yatra duration.