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Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) shall continue live telecast/virtual darshan of morning & evening aarti. The traditional rituals shall be carried out as per past practice including Chhadi Mubarak.
Upendra Bharti | HENB | New Delhi | July 21, 2020:: This year’s Annual Amarnath Yatra has been cancelled amid the critical condition in India out of COVID-19 pandemic. Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), the highest decision-making body regarding the Hindu pilgrimage, was slated to hold a meeting on Tuesday and take a final decision on the same traditional journey held every year in the Kashmir valley.
“Based upon the circumstances, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board decided that it is not advisable to hold and conduct this year’s Shri Amarnathji Yatra and expressed its regret to announce the cancellation of Yatra 2020,” Raj Bhavan, Government of Jammu and Kashmir said.
“To keep the religious sentiments alive, Board shall continue live telecast/virtual darshan of morning & evening aarti. The traditional rituals shall be carried out as per past practice. Chhadi Mubarak shall be facilitated by the government,” Raj Bhavan further said.
The Daily Darshan and Aarti in Amarnath cave will be telecast from SASB Website+ and its YouTube Channel as report says.
Hence, Devotees can pay respects to the deity through live telecast and can offer online puja through SASB portal as well.
The decision has finally put an end to the speculation surrounding the annual pilgrimage. Days ago, the Supreme Court had quashed a plea seeking direction to the Centre, Jammu and Kashmir administration and SASB to suspend this year’s Amarnath Yatra in view of COVID-19.
“We cannot enter the arena of the Executive. We have to respect the principle of separation of powers,” the apex court had said during the hearing on the matter.
“Issue a writ/order/direction in the nature of mandamus, directing the Respondents to restrict the access of the general public/devotees/pilgrims for the Shri Amarnath Yatra 2020, in view of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic or Issue a writ/order/direction in the nature of mandamus, directing the Respondents to provide for live darshan of the Lord Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine by way of the internet and the television, so that there can be access to crores of people across the country,” the petition had said.
Earlier, there were reports that Amarnath Yatra would be beginning from July 21 and would be conducted in a staggered manner. There were also speculations that not more than 500 pilgrims would be allowed to visit the shrine daily due to the COVID-19 situation. Reports had also suggested that there were terror threats during this year’s Amarnath Yatra.
“There are inputs that they (terrorists) would try their best to target the yatra. NH-44 continues to be sensitive because that is the route that the yatris would take to go up to the northern routes,” Brigadier VS Thakur, Commander, 2 Sector had said.
On Tuesday, Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu presided over a meeting of the Board, which was attended by senior Union Territory and the Board officials.
“The Board further discussed that pandemic has put the health administration system to its limit. The spike has been particularly very sharp in July. Health Workers and Security Forces are also getting infected and the focus of entire Medical, Civil and Police Administration at the moment is on containing the local transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic. The health concerns are so serious that the strain on the health system, along with the diversion in resources to the Yatra, will be immense,” the Board explained the decision to cancel the pilgrimage, which is attended by thousands of people every year.
The Centre in May had allowed the opening of religious places, but with restrictions, under what it called Unlock2. However, several states decided otherwise amid rising coronavirus cases. The Jammu and Kashmir government this month extended the lockdown till July 31.