Baltal: Three Amarnath pilgrims were killed and five other persons injured after a landslide and shooting stones hit the Baltal route of the Amarnath Yatra in Ganderbal district late on Tuesday evening. Three other pilgrims died due to cardiac arrest at Panjtarni and Brarimarg areas of Baltal base camp on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, officials told Kashmir Reader.
Police officials posted at Baltal told Kashmir Reader that bodies of the three pilgrims have been recovered and identified as: Jyoti, 35, wife of Bimal Sharma, resident of Delhi (registration number 168070); Ashok Mohtoo, 54, son of Kharo Mathoo, resident of Patna (registration number 300838); and Shalinder Singh, 30, son of Vijay Singh, resident of Delhi (registration number 168700).
The bodies were recovered from the debris after a landslide and shooting stones hit Brarimarg Rail-Pathri area at Baltal base camp en route to Amarnath.
Police had said on Tuesday that five people had died in the landslide. On Wednesday morning, police clarified that only three bodies were recovered.
Police said that two pilgrims and three pony-wallahs were also injured. They have been identified as Reyaz Ahmad Wagay, 20, son of Ghulam Mohammad Wagay, resident of Shangas Anantnag; Nand Lal, 60, son of Subnamal, resident of Jaipur; Mansuk Lal, 54, son of Savagi, resident of Gujarat – they have been referred to SKIMS Soura for treatment – and Airf Hussan Khatana, 23, son of Liyaqat Ali Khatana, resident of Kharpora Kokernag; and Mohammad Sikander Kalas, 23, son of Mohammad Ismail, resident of Thune Kangan – they were discharged from hospital after first-aid.
Soon after the landslide, senior officers of the civil administration, police and army along with NDRF and SDRF immediately swung into action to carry out search and rescue operations.
The three pilgrims who died of cardiac arrest were identified as Seemakurti Surinariyan, wife of Prasadray, resident of Andhra Pradesh (Registration number 024791), Naniben Parma and Subrata Bose. Officials said that their bodies were taken to Baltal and Nunwan base camp for further legal proceedings.
The Amarnath Yatra, which commenced on June 28, has not been going smoothly due to inclement weather in Kashmir. On June 29 and 30, the yatra remained suspended due to incessant rains. The journey to the holy cave was resumed on July 1 as the weather cleared but it was again halted along both the Baltal and Pahalgam routes due to overnight heavy rainfall, landslides and slippery road conditions.
Officials said that the yatra has been halted on both routes in view of the inclement weather and bad road conditions.
“No pilgrim was allowed to undertake journey from Nunwan base camp from south Kashmir and Baltal base camp from central Kashmir,” an official said.
The annual Amarnath Yatra is scheduled to conclude on August 26, on the day of Raksha Bandhan.