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Three killed and seven missing in Amarnath following a cloudburst

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Srinagar:  The army on Saturday launched a massive relief and rescue operation at the Baltal base camp of the Amarnath Yatra where at least three people were killed and seven went missing following a cloudburst overnight.

Army officials said efforts were on to reopen the yatra route by sunset on Saturday.

“The army has launched a massive relief and rescue operation to save the pilgrims trapped in landslide at Baltal,” defense ministry spokesman Lt. Col. N.N. Joshi said in Srinagar.

“There were cloudburst-triggered landslides at three places between Baltal gate and Rangamor,” Joshi said.

Soldiers from the 19 Garhwal Regiment have begun a search of the area. A Quick Reaction Team (QRT) of the 24 Rashtriya Rifles has also reached Sonamarg along with rescue parties from the nearby Gagangir camp.

An army officer said 17 tents and many vehicles are buried under the slush.

Bulldozers were deployed by the army to clear the roads, along with manual effort.

Work has started to clear the landslide-hit area and open the road where it got blocked near a fish pond.

The cloudburst in Baltal resulted in the death of two children — Pooja, the 13-year-old daughter of Prakash, a resident of Rajasthan, and Vikram, the 12-year-old son of Kailash, also a resident of Rajasthan. A third body was found later.

Nine people were injured, 780 shifted to an army camp, 1,500 pilgrims taken to Bhandvas while 12 shops have been washed away, the defense spokesperson said.

Of the injured, one critically wounded person was airlifted to Srinagar for specialized treatment.

The missing have been identified as Maiser, Anil Sahu, Ashaq Sahid Mir, Reyaz Ahmed Lone, Mustaq Ahmed, Ramdevi, and Fayaz Ahmed Mir, the official added.

Police said the two children who lost their lives were working in shops outside the base camp.

Multiple cloudbursts killed three people on July 16 in Kulan village on the Srinagar-Leh national highway, the route used by the pilgrims to the Baltal base camp.

(IANS)

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Amarnath Yatra: Adhere to these Do’s and Dont’s While on the Pilgrimage

Here are the Amarnath Yatra safety tips to adhere in order to ensure a safe pilgrimage to the baba amaranth shivling mounted on 13,000 feet height

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Amarnath Yatra
Amarnath Yatra. Wikimedia

July 13, 2017:

Amarnath Yatra is known to be one of the most difficult pilgrimages in India due to a plethora of reasons. Amongst many reasons, frequent terrorist attacks on Amarnath raises the level of complexity and challenges for the pilgrims. The area also extends to the land of Jammu & Kashmir, which has beheld tensions of late.

In the wake of the terror attack on the bus carrying Amarnath yatris on Monday, it is important to acquaint people with the Amarnath Yatra’s dos and don’ts. The bus that was attacked recently was neither registered with the Sri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) nor adhered to the security details obligatory for the sojourners with respect to the terror threat.

 The Amarnath Yatra is open for the Shiva devotees from June 29 to August 7, 2017.
Here are the Amarnath Yatra safety tips in order to ensure a safe pilgrimage to the ‘Baba Amaranth Shivling’ mounted on 13,000 feet height.

Do’s

  • The temperature may fall up to 5 degree Celsius, hence it is advised to carry sufficient Wollen Clothes.
  • The Yatra bus carrying the pilgrims is prohibited after 7 pm. One must carry the yatra permit and requisite papers all the time with themselves.
  • One must keep in their pocket a note containing the name/address, a mobile telephone number of any yatri progressing for darshan on the same dates for emergency purposes.
  • Travel in groups rather in isolation.
  • In the case of any mishap or sudden emergency situation, immediately contact the nearest Camp Director / Mountain Rescue Teams (MRTs) stationed at various locations.
  • Ensure that the pony man or the person who carries your luggage is registered with the police and carries an identity card.
  • Pre-paid SIM Cards from the states outside J&K do not work in the yatra area. Yatris can obtain pre-activated SIM Cards at the base camps of Baltal and Nunwan.
  • Do carry medicines for cold, fever, vomit and first aid kit with you while taking the pilgrimage.

ALSO READ: Muslim driver’s Presence of Mind saves 50 Amarnath Yatra Pilgrims during the Terror Attack 

Dont’s

  •  Inside the cave, incense stick and diyas are not allowed as it raises the temperature which also melts the frosted mercury shivling.
  • Children below 13 years, pregnant women and elderly citizens over 75 years are forbidden to carry the pilgrimage.
  • Don’t try short cut routes to the holy cave. It might lead to danger.
  • Do not take any polyethene material as it is banned in J&K and punishable under law.
  • Do not wear slippers or loose sandals while trekking to the holy cave as the route has falls and tilts. It is advised to wear trekking shoes for the yatra.
  • Women to avoid wearing saree as the Amarnath yatra route becomes difficult in the later stages.
  • Lastly, respect the environment and do not pollute the land of Shiva while taking the Amarnath Yatra

– by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter: @Nainamishr94

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