As many as 53 pilgrims have been killed in 36 ‘terror attacks’ on the annual Amarnath yatra in the last 27 years, the Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.
“From 1990 till date, 36 terrorist attacks have been reported on Amarnath yatris in which 53 were killed and 167 were injured,” Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said in reply to a written question.
Ahir said all possible arrangements are being made by the Jammu and Kashmir government with the help of the Centre to strengthen the yatra’s security.
Seven pilgrims were killed in Anantnag district of south Kashmir on July 10 when a bus carying the pilgrims was caught in a cross fire near Batoengoo village of Anantnag. Six pilgrim died on the spot while as one injured pilgrim succumbed to her injuries later.
Replying to another question, Ahir said the duration and schedule of the pilgrimage is based on the decision taken by the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board every year.
“As such, the 2017 yatra is of 40 days. In 2016, it commenced on July 2 and concluded on August 18, and therefore, it was of 48 days,” he said.
This year, the pilgrimage commenced on June 29 and will culminate on Raksha Bandhan which falls on August 7.