Yatra Flip-flop: SASB Reserves Decision on Amatnath Yatra

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Yatris enroute to cave shrine – KO File Photo

Jammu: Shortly after releasing a press note announcing the cancellation of this years Amarnath Yatra, the state government issued a new statement stating the decision about the Yatra will be taken in near future.

Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu, Chairman of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), presided over the 38th Board Meeting held here today at the Raj Bhavan, the statement released late at night said.

“The Board expressed its apprehension and held that as on date, it may not be possible to organise the Yatra 2020. Due to the current COVID-2019 pandemic situation being dynamic, appropriate decision can be taken on organising the Yatra on reviewing of the situation in coming future.”

According to the earlier press release, “The Board decided unanimously that in view of the pandemic situation prevailing in the world it would not be prudent to organise the Yatra, 2020. It was also decided that Board would explore the possibility of telecasting the Pooja and Darshan of Shivlinga online and through other media for millions of devotees worldwide. The Board members expressed that not organising of AmarnathjiYatra should also set an example for all during the prevailing circumstances of pandemic to avoid such congregations”.

When contacted, a senior official of the Department of Information, told Kashmir Observer, that the new information will come from Raj Bhawan as the press release was withdrawn by it”.

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted after the press note was withdrawn. “Once again proving the point that these days nothing to do with J&K actually gets decided in J&K,” he said.

Annual Hindu pilgrimage to a cave shrine in South Kashmir Himalayas was scheduled to begin on June 23 and  culminate on August 3. The yatra was suspended midway last year after New Delhi imposed a lockdown on Kashmir ahead of abrogation of its special status.

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