3 more pilgrims die in Amarnath, toll rises to 9
1 August 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Three more pilgrims on their way to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath have died of natural causes, taking the toll during this year’s Yatra, which began on July 19, to nine, official sources said today. A pilgrim, identified as Haresh Bhai (60) of Gujarat, died at Ramban on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway last evening after suffering a heart attack, the sources said. A Sadhu died yesterday following a cardiac arrest while another person died due to sickness at Chandanwari, 16 km from Pahalgam base camp, they said, adding the deceased had not been identified so far. On July 30, two pilgrims were killed when militants hurled a grenade at a taxi at Anantnag while four other pilgrims died due to natural causes. Meanwhile, a total of 72,065 yatris had reached Pahalgam base camp at Nunwan and Baltal till late last night, out of which nearly 70,000 had the ‘Darshan’ of the holy ice lingam, the sources said. J and K Chief Secretary I S Malhi today visited Sheshnag, Panjtarni and the holy cave to review the arrangements made for the pilgrims which inter- alia included availability of drinking water, power supply, essential commodities, civic amenities and security measures. He asked the administration and other agencies connected with the conduct of the month-long pilgrimage to see that the pilgrims do not face any difficulty. He also interacted with the Yatris and enquired about the arrangements made for the smooth conduct of the Yatra. The pilgrims expressed their satisfaction over facilities available, an official release said.