First batch of 2280 pilgrims leaves for Amarnath yatra amid tight security

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The 45-km Pahalgam route to Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas is a traditional route and most Amarnath pilgrims prefer to take this hard route for the yearly pilgrimage.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra and Union home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi are expected to offer prayers tomorrow at the cave shrine when the pilgrimage will start.

35 dog squads of army, J&K Police, BSF and CRPF deployed along Pahalgam and Baltal routes, of which 27 on the Pahalgam axis and eight on Baltal stretch.

Pahalgam: Before starting "Bam Bam Bhole" and "Jai Baba Barfani" slogans reverberated early in the morning here today as the first batch of Amarnath Yatra pilgrims left for the holy cave from Nunwanan-Pahalgam base camp, amid tight security arrangements.

DURATION: The 40-day yatra will culminate on August 7 on Raksha Bandhan.

The distance from Baltal to the cave is 14 km and from Pahalgam 46 km.

"The attack may be in the form of stand-off fire on Yatra convoy which they believe will result in flaring of communal tensions throughout the nation", the letter added.

The letter further read that the input is assessed to be a HUMINT (human intelligence) and it needs further corroboration.

Sadhus on way to Amarnathji
Sadhus on way to Amarnathji

In view of the prevailing situation in south Kashmir, the troops on ground have been asked to remain extra cautious.

Jammu and Kashmir DGP SP Vaid said someone has spread it on social media to create panic.

Home Secretary, Director of the Intelligence Bureau, Joint Secretary Kashmir and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) officials were present in the meeting.

"This (yatra) is a big challenge to us".

He also reviewed the elaborate security arrangements. They left by 72 vehicles, escorted by security personnel. Its CEO Umang Narula said that these pilgrims have secured registration through the designated bank branches, Group Registration Facility (GRF) and booking of helicopter tickets for the yatra.

"This Amarnath yatra will have the highest-ever security setup to ensure an incident-free yatra", said Shrivastava.

The Centre has provided an additional 40,000 paramilitary forces to assist the state government for a peaceful conduct of the Yatra. The BSF has deployed over 2,000 troops for the yatra.

First batch of 2,280 devotees from Bhagwati Nagar base camp in Jammu leaves for cave shrine, situated at 3,888m (12,756 ft).

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