Thousands of Amarnath pilgrims stranded at Baltal, Pahalgam & Jammu

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Thousands of Amarnath pilgrims, including those who had paid obeisance at the cave shrine, are stranded at Baltal and Nunwan Pahalgam base camps besides at Jammu due to closure of the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway, linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country.
The highway was closed on Saturday for security reasons following widespread
violence, particularly in the south Kashmir, in protest against the killing of top
commander of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) Burhan Wani and two other militants in an encounter with security forces on Friday evening in Kokernag area in Anantnag district.
About 20,000 pilgrims, who had returned to base camps of Baltal and Pahalgam after paying obeisance at the cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas since Friday have been stopped there
after the authorities decided to close the highway for
security reasons.
However, some of the yatris, who had come in their own vehicles, had left for Jammu on Saturday.
Officials said that stranded pilgrims are being provided all the facilities, including food and shelter at both the base camps. Thousands of pilgrims, who had come from different parts of the country are also stranded at Jammu as they are not being allowed to proceed towards base camps in Kashmir.
Yatris have been stopped and decision to allow them to undertake the journey from here and Jammu will be taken only after assessing the security situation, particularly in south Kashmir as vehicles had to pass through Pulwama, Anantnag and Kulgam districts.

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