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Amarnath Yatra witnesses all time low due to Kashmir unrest

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Amarnath Yatra witnesses all time low due to Kashmir unrestAARYAN SHARMA
JAMMU: Under BJP-PDP alliance government, the annual Amarnath pilgrimage this year has recorded lowest foot falls in the last one decade.
According to the statistics released by the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board till date only 2,20,399 pilgrims performed darshan inside the sanctum sanctorum this year. Over 2.5 lakh pilgrims had secured advance registrations this year but even all these pilgrims could not make it to the shrine due to prevailing law and order situation.
A total number of 16 pilgrims lost their lives during the yatra period due to cardiac arrest or other health issues. This is the lowest ever number of pilgrims who performed darshan in the past 10 years.
In 2007 the yatra had recorded less than 3 lakh pilgrims.
Prevailing law and order situation across different parts of Kashmir valley has resulted in poor response to the yatra,official sources said.
Barring first 8 days, the yatra never picked up as violence broke out on the streets of the Valley in the aftermath of killing of HM terrorist Burhan Wani on July 8 forcing the pilgrims to stay away from visiting Kashmir.
Even the total number of registered pilgrims failed to turn up as they cancelled their programmes due to security reasons.
According to official sources the overall yatra statistics since 2004 have always crossed milestone of 3 lakh barring 2007 when 2.96 lakh pilgrims performed darshan.
At the peak of Amarnath land row in 2008 over 5.3 lakh pilgrims had performed darshan.
Enthusiastic pilgrims paid little heed to the land row controversy and came out in large numbers to perform darshan of ‘ice lingam’.
Three years later the Amarnath yatra touched the highest mark of 6.36 lakh as more and more emphasis was laid on improving the facilities for pilgrims by the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board authorities.

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