Amarnath Yatra temporarily suspended as separatists call shutdown in Valley

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With separatists calling a protest shutdown, authorities in Jammu decided to temporarily suspend the ongoing Amarnath Yatra to the cave shrine in Kashmir valley.

The separatist conglomerate, Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), called for a complete shutdown for two days in support of Article 35A that has been challenged in the Supreme Court. Article 35A gives special powers to the state legislature.

The police said no pilgrim was allowed to move from the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas here.

Special check-posts have been set up in Udhampur and Ramban to ensure no movement of pilgrims on the Jammu-Srinagar highway passing through the two districts. Pilgrims camped at Baltal and Pahalgam base camps in the Valley will however continue to perform the Yatra, said officials.

The shutdown affected life across the Valley. Public transport remained off the roads and very few private vehicles were seen plying in Srinagar city and other district headquarters.

Authorities made heavy deployments of security forces to maintain law and order.

The Amarnath Yatra will end on August 26, coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival. The annual pilgrimage began on June 28, and over 2.71 lakh pilgrims have since performed it so far.

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