Amarnath yatra
Press Information Bureau

Amid the rise in coronavirus cases and all the pilgrimages being suspended, the annual Amarnath Yatra pilgrimage stands cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The pilgrimages this year has been cancelled mainly due to coronavirus pandemic, digression of forces to Ladakh and security scenarios in the Valley. 

According to sources, a crucial meeting of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB)  took place today, July 21 to take a final decision on conducting the pilgrimage this year. So far the board was tight-lipped about the schedule of the annual Yatra. 

The 42-day-long yatra to the 3,880-metre-high holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas was earlier curtailed and was to be held only from the Batal route for 15 days. It is pertinent to note that the yatra concludes on Shravan Poornima every year, and this time, it is on August 3. 

Surge in J&K's Covid-19 cases as tally crosses 14,000

Coronavirus patient in hospital
Medical workers wearing personal protective equipment take care of a patient suffering from the coronavirus at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital in New Delhi, India, May 28, 2020.Courtesy: REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Jammu and Kashmir recorded 751 fresh Covid-19 cases, taking the Union Territory's tally to 14,650, while there were 10 more deaths.

A statement issued by the Information and Public Relations Department said that of the new cases, 240 were in the Jammu division and 511 in the Kashmir division. Ten patients succumbed in different hospitals, taking the toll to 254.

With 8,274 patients having completely recovered, the number of active cases is 6,122, out of which 1,207 are in the Jammu division and 4,915 in the Kashmir division.

Terrorists planning to target Amarnath Yatra: Army

Amarnath yatra
Paramilitary personnel guarding a Amarnath Yatra base camp near Pahalgam.Reuters

Earlier, the Indian Army said there are inputs that terrorists are planning to target the Amarnath Yatra. Speaking to reporters, 9 Rashtriya Rifles sector Commander, Brigadier V.S. Thakur, said that inputs suggest that terrorists are planning to target the yatra somewhere on National Highway 44.

Before the decision of cancelling the pilgrimage was made today, the Army said, "We have inputs that terrorists would try their best to target the yatra, but we have got our systems and resources in place to ensure that it goes on unhindered and peacefully," he said.

(Inputs from wires)