This year seems like festivals and yatra won’t be able to celebrate in the bid of a spike of COVID-19. The Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SABS) decided to cancel the annual Amarnath Yatra due o the rising spike of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Every year hundreds of thousands of Hindu and other devotees make an annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave across challenging mountainous terrain. But as over 1.19 million people across India are already affected and more than 14,600 people from Jammu & Kashmir are infected so the Lieutenant-governor of J&K, Girish Chandra Murmu decided to cancel this annual pilgrimage at the 39th Meeting of SABS via Video conference.
According to the officials this year’s ‘Shri Amarnathji Yatra’ won’t be possible and with the current critical situation, it won’t be advisable also. As the board didn’t want to hurt the religious sentiments of the devotees so a live telecast/virtual darshan of the morning and evening aarti will be arranged. Further, the traditional rituals shall be carried out as per past practice. Also, the Charri Mubarak shall be facilitated by the government.
The meeting was also attended by chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, SABS’s CEO Bipul Pathak, and other senior officers of the board. Since the national lockdown, the J&K has kept the religious places closed for the public in March.
The local authorities can’t afford this yatra as it will b very risky and the spread of the virus can affect a major number of people. Even the tension between the LAC in Ladakh is another reason for cancellation. Every year, over 40,000 personnel of the J&K Police, Army and paramilitary forces are deployed to secure the route to the cave shrine.
Earlier on 13th July, a hearing petition seeking for cancellation of the Yatra was taken Supreme Court which was later handed over to the local administration. Last year, the yatris and tourists were asked to immediately leave J&K by the then-state’s government due to the militant/terror threats.
Article Written By Dikhya Mohanty
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