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Amarnath Yatra kicks off from Jammu amid tight security
JAMMU, June 27: Despite reports of death and gore from Uttarakhand, after flash floods and landslides caused serious damage, the much-awaited Amarnath Yatra kicked off on Thursday with the first batch of pilgrims departing from Jammu for the Holy Cave.

Devotees travel from Himachal Pradesh, New Delhi, Punjab, Western Gujarat, Odisha and Maharashtra to participate in this holy pilgrimage.

Santosh Kumar Soni, a pilgrim said that this was a joyous and exciting moment for him but he would definitely pray for the safety of the victims of the Uttarakhand flash floods.

J&K state Tourism Minister G A Mir today flagged off the first batch of Amarnath Yatris from Jammu.

The first batch comprising of 3,157 yatris, including 563 women and 37 children left for the holy cave shrine of Amarnath amidst tight security from Jammu.

The batch left from Yatri Niwas in a fleet of 96 vehicles, including 75 buses and 21 LMVs in early morning today amid tight security and in the presence of several civil and police officials.

Meanwhile Chief Executive Officer, Amarnath Shrine Board, Navin K. Choudhary has yet again urged all intending pilgrims against reaching Baltal or Pahalgam without first obtaining a valid Registration Permit as, otherwise, they would face avoidable difficulties and inconvenience.

The CEO further said that this year the Shrine Board had opened 422 Registration Counters across the country, against 174 last year and, further, this year Registration was commenced three months in advance of the Yatra to ensure that every intending pilgrim could timely go through the Registration process.

The CEO stated that any Yatri who arrives in Jammu without having obtained valid Registration should proceed to Vaishnavi Dham and Saraswati Dham at Railhead Jammu and Jammu Haat in the Jammu city, respectively, after obtaining a Compulsory Health Certificate from a notified Doctor/Medical Institution and then go to the counters in the aforesaid complexes for securing Registration. Those Yatris who reach Srinagar without registration should go to the Tourist Reception Centre (TRC), Srinagar for seeking registration after obtaining Compulsory Health Certificate.

The CEO further stated that as per the SHPC recommendation which has been endorsed by the Supreme Court’s decision, the District Administration is bound to stop all those Yatris who attempt to undertake the Yatra without valid Registration. To avoid any unpleasant situation or inconvenience, the pilgrims are advised to obtain Registration Permits and undertake the Yatra only on the date and the route for which they have been registered.

News Updated at : Friday, June 28, 2013
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