VHP to commence Amarnath Yatra from June 4



Jammu: The VHP on Thursday refused to accept the date fixed by Shri Amarnath Shrine Board for the annual pilgrimage to the cave temple in south Kahsmir Himalayas, saying the yatra this year will commence on June 4 for which it will begin registering pilgrims from tomorrow.

"VHP will start yatra to the cave shrine of Amarnath in South Kashmir Himalayas from June 4 - the day of Jyeshtha Purnima. We do not accept the date of commencement of Yatra announced by the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board", VHP state chief Rama Kant Dubey told reporters here today.

The board has curtailed the period of the yatra this year by 39 days and fixed June 25 as the date for its commencement.

He said the board headed by J&K Governor NN Vohra had no right to decide the date and period of the yatra as it is a matter to be decided by religious gurus.

He said the role of the board is confined only to looking after the management of the yatra and setting up better facilities for devotees.

Dubey said VHP will start registration of pilgrims across the country from tommorrow (April 6) coinciding with Hanuman Jayanti, the birthday of the Hindu God.

"We have fixed a target of registering 21 lakh pilgrims for Amarnath Yatra from across the country from April 6," he said, adding that as many as 1.5 lakh pilgrims would be registered from Jammu and Kashmir only.

He also threatened that if the government or board tried to stop pilgrims registered by the VHP from carrying out the yatra to the cave shrine in South Kashmir from here, they will have to face its consequences.

Refusing to accept the 39-day curtailment of the yatra period this year, the VHP leader said, "It is unacceptable to the Hindus of the country. Board and its chairman are playing with sentiments of Hindus by slowly curtailing yatra period under a conspiracy to keep Kashmiri separatists happy".

PTI