Over dozen Amarnath pilgrims injured in cane charge

July 2nd, 2011 - 11:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, July 2 (IANS) Over a dozen out of hundreds of protesting Amarnath pilgrims were injured in a cane charge by Jammu and Kashmir police to disperse them at Patnitop on Jammu-Srinagar national highway Saturday. The pilgrims were trying to disrupt traffic when they were halted due to bad weather and crowding near the cave shrine in the Kashmir Valley, an official said.

Police stopped the vehicles carrying pilgrims at Patnitop, around 100 km north of Jammu “due to bad weather ahead and overcrowding of pilgrims at base camps”.

“At this the pilgrims got agitated and blocked the national highway, alleging that there was no proper facility and arrangement at the point where they were stopped,” the police official said.

“Police resorted to mild cane charge to disperse the pilgrims for smooth flow of traffic on the highway,” said the official.

He said over a dozen pilgrims were injured in the cane charge.

The vehicles were later allowed to move towards the two base camps at Baltal and Pahalgam in the Valley, he said.

Over 35,000 people have already performed the pilgrimage that commenced June 29.

The Amarnath cave shrine, located 13,500 ft above sea level in the Pir Panjal ranges in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, houses a stalagmite structure which Hindus believe symbolises the mythical powers of Lord Shiva.

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