Jammu, July 12 (IANS) A new batch of pilgrims on Wednesday left for the Himalayan cave shrine amid tight security as the Amarnath Yatra continued post a Lashkar terror strike in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
“Another batch of 3,791 yatris left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in 101 vehicles, including 55 buses and 46 light motor vehicles for the valley around 4 a.m. today (Wednesday) in an escorted convoy,” police said.
The annual 40-day long Amarnath Yatra has continued uninterrupted despite Monday’s terror attack in Khanabal area on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in which seven pilgrims were killed and 19 others were injured.
The attack was carried out despite deployment of a multi-layered security cover provided by nearly 35,000 security men drawn from the Army, Central Reserve Police Force, Indo Tibetan Border Police, Sashastra Seema Bal and the state police.
Authorities said the bus attacked by the terrorists was moving after the security deployment was withdrawn at 7.30 p.m. and the attack had taken place at 8.20 p.m.
It was also said that the bus and its pilgrims were not registered with the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) that manages the affairs of the annual Yatra.
So far, 1.57 lakh pilgrims have performed the Yatra and paid obeisance inside the Amarnath cave situated 3,888 metres above the sea-level.
The shrine houses an ice stalagmite structure that waxes and wanes with the size of the visible moon.
Devotees believe the ice stalagmite structure called the ‘Lingam’ symbolizes mythical powers of Lord Shiva.