Ravender Raina advocates limited Amarnath Yatra

Jammu, Jun 07: Amid Corona virus pandemic, Jammu and Kashmir BJP president Ravinder Raina on Monday said that restricted pilgrimage should be facilitated if administration not willing to take off full-fledged Amarnath yatra.

Talking to reporters, Raina said, “Shiv devotees from across the globe visit Amarnath every year for ‘darshan’’ (glimpse) during June and July in Kashmir. Because of the Corona virus pandemic, big religious gatherings are not happening in any part of the world so at least a restricted yatra should be facilitated”.

The 56-day pilgrimage to the 3,880-metre-high holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, housing ice-Shivligum, is scheduled to start from the twin routes of Pahalgam and Baltal on June 28 and culminate on August 22.

He said if a full-fledged yatra is not possible due to the Covid situation; the prayers should be organized at the cave shrine.

Asked if he favours a 15-days yatra, he said at least a limited number of Jammu and Kashmir residents should be allowed.

Earlier, Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said it was for the government of India to decide whether the pilgrimage to Amarnath cave shrine should be allowed amid the pandemic.

Talking to media persons in south Kashmir’s Bijbehara, Mufti had stated that the decision to allow the yatra this year has to be taken by the government of India.

However she said, “What shall I say? On one side there is COVID, people are confined to their homes and on the other hand, they want to allow the yatra. Who will stop them? They are the owners. Whatever decision they have to take, they will do it”. kno

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