2,224 pilgrims leave for Amarnath from Jammu
Another batch of 2,224 pilgrims on Tuesday left Jammu for for the Amarnath cave shrine of Lord Shiva in south Kashmir Himalayas, amid tight security.
Escorted by the CRPF and police, the batch comprising of 1,522 males, 467 females, and 235 sadhus and sadhvis left in a convoy of 85 vehicles for Baltal and Pahalgam base-camps this morning, officials said.
With Tuesday's batch, 58,501 pilgrims have left Jammu for Amarnath in 16 batches since the yatra began from here on June 28. As many as 2,10,729 pilgrims have paid obeisance at the Ice lingum in the cave shrine till last evening.
The government has thrown a heavy security blanket of over 35,000 to 40,000 troops including the police, the Army, the BSF and the CRPF.
In addition to the existing strength of the CRPF in the state, the Centre has provided over 250 companies (25,000 personnel) of paramilitary forces to the state government.
The BSF has deployed over 2,000 troops for the yatra while the Army has provided 5 battalions (about 5000 personnel). Additional 54 companies (5400 personnel) of the police have also been mobilised.
The annual pilgrimage began this year amid a terror threat, with intelligence reports warning of probable attack which prompted the authorities to mobilise the "highest level" of security, including satellite tracking system.
The yatra from Jammu was suspended due to law-and-order situation in the Kashmir Valley on July 8 but resumed the next day.