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Jammu And Kashmir: 'Machail Mata Yatra' Suspended Due To Security Concerns

Thousands of devotees from across the country visit the scenic Paddar valley, also famous for its sapphire mines, during the yatra and pay obeisance at the holy shrine of goddess Durga in Machail village of Kishtwar.

Jammu And Kashmir: 'Machail Mata Yatra' Suspended Due To Security Concerns
Devottes pay obeisance at the holy shrine of goddess Durga in Machail village of Kishtwar. (File photo)
Jammu And Kashmir: 'Machail Mata Yatra' Suspended Due To Security Concerns
outlookindia.com
2019-08-03T11:14:01+05:30

The 43-day-long 'Machail Mata Yatra' in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir was suspended on Saturday due to security reasons, officials said.

Authorities have asked people not to start the yatra and those on the way should leave and get back.

"The yatra has been suspended with immediate effect due to security reasons," Deputy Commissioner of Kishtwar Angrez Singh Rana told PTI.

The yatra commenced on July 25 and was scheduled to end on September 5.

Thousands of devotees from across the country visit the scenic Paddar valley, also famous for its sapphire mines, during the yatra and pay obeisance at the holy shrine of goddess Durga in Machail village of Kishtwar after trekking a 30-km arduous route.

Kishtwar, which was declared terrorism-free over a decade ago, was rattled by the killing of state secretary of BJP Anil Parihar and his brother Ajeet Parihar on November 1 last year, followed by the assassination of senior RSS leader Chanderkant Sharma and his security guard inside a health centre on April 9.

The annual Amarnath Yatra has already been suspended due to security reasons.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik said on Friday night that "unnecessary panic" was being created by linking the curtailment of Amarnath Yatra with other issues and requested political leaders to ask their supporters to maintain calm and not believe in "exaggerated rumours".

A delegation of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, J&K Peoples Movement chief Shah Faesal and Peoples Conference leaders Sajjad Lone and Imran Reza Ansari met the Governor.

The delegation expressed concerns about the panic situation in Kashmir Valley created by the developments during the day, including the advisory issued by the government asking Amarnath pilgrims and tourists to return as soon as possible, according to a Raj Bhavan statement.

"Governor Malik informed the delegation that there were serious and credible inputs which were available to the security agencies regarding terrorist attacks on the Amarnath Yatra...It is in this context that the government had issued an advisory asking Yatris and tourists to return as soon as possible," the statement added.

(With inputs from PTI)

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