Srinagar: The hardline Hurriyat Conference, led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, on Friday opposed the 55-day yatra schedule announced by the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, saying its advisory board would meet shortly to discuss all aspects of the decision and chalk out a strategy accordingly.
"The Hurriyat outrightly rejects the 2013 Amarnath yatra schedule," amalgam spokesman Ayaz Akbar said in a statement here.
The SASB, which met under the chairmanship of Governor NN Vohra in Delhi yesterday, said the devotees would commence the 55-day yatra on June 28 this year, extending the period of the pilgrimage from 37 days last year.
The Hurriyat Conference has been all along demanding curtailment of the yatra on the plea that the heavy rush of pilgrims to 3,880-mt high holy cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas impacts the ecology of the region.
"The Hurriyat notes with regret and sense of anguish the observations and directions issued by SASB and resolves to call a session of the Executive Council for deliberations over the said issue," Akbar said.
The schedule announced by SASB demonstrated "there exists a state within a state", he said.
The spokesman while reiterating amalgam`s stand said the people of Kashmir are not against the yatra.
"The people of Kashmir will continue their traditional hospitality for pilgrims in future but will not allow anything that can harm the state’s interest," he said.
The spokesman demanded regulation of the pilgrimage on Gangotri pattern.