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Over 3,500 pilgrims from Gujarat stranded in J&K

Amarnath pilgrims stand in a queue for food at the Geeta Mandir base camp in Jammu on Sunday.  

With violence engulfing Jammu and Kashmir following the killing of terrorist Burhan Wani by security forces, more than 3,500 people from Gujarat, mostly heading for the Amarnath Yatra, have been stranded at various places in the State.

According to sources, nearly a dozen buses carrying tourists from Vadodara and Surat are stranded at Pahalgam in Anantnag district, while other tourists are stuck in Srinagar and nearby places which are under curfew.

Control room set up

The shutting down of mobile-based Internet services has led to panic, following which the Gujarat government set up a control room at the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority (GSDMA).

Gujarat BJP MLA Hira Solanki, who sponsored over 200 people from his constituency Rajula for the yatra, is stuck in a Srinagar hotel with the group.

“We could contact him only after two days. Now they are safe. Their buses were pelted with stones but the security forces rescued them,” said Rajesh Koli, whose family members have gone for the yatra.

“We are in touch with the J&K administration regarding the safety of the Gujarati pilgrims and tourists. All vehicles are in the safe custody of the security forces,” said Gujarat’s relief commissioner Manish Bhardwaj.

“Three of our family members were also stranded and remained inaccessible for two days. They are safe now but are having a tough time because they have run out of food and water as everything is shut,” said Pradip Prajapati, a resident of Ahmedabad.

According to a private tour operator in Ahmedabad, nearly 1,000 of the affected persons are from Ahmedabad city.


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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 9:11:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Over-3500-pilgrims-from-Gujarat-stranded-in-JampK/article14482029.ece

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