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July 1, 2010

Amarnath Yatra resumes amidst tension in Kashmir Valley

Jammu:The annual Amarnath Yatra resumed on Thursday amidst tension due to a curfew imposed in nine towns of the Kashmir Valley. It is the second day of the Amarnath Yatra. The first batch of pilgrims began their journey on Wednesday. An indefinite curfew has been imposed in the towns of Bijbehara in North Kashmir and Pahalgam in South Kashmir . Anantnag, Kulgam and Pulwama are already under curfew following the death of three youths on Monday in clashes between the CRPF and stone-pelters. Anantnag and Pahalgam towns fall on the Jammu-Pahalgam pilgrimage route. But those taking the North Kashmir Baltal route to reach the cave shrine have to pass through Bijbehara, Awantipore and Pampore towns in the south. Security forces have been ordered to show maximum restraint even in the face of any provocation by stone-pelting mobs. An additional 3000 BSF personnel have also been sent to the troubled state so that the pilgrimage to the holy cave is in no way affected. The CRPF has also deployed 50 companies comprising 6,250 men and officers while the Army has set up 97 area domination posts in and around the cave shrine in Lidder Valley , besides Pahalgam and along the route in Anantnag, Ramban and Udhampur Districts. For the last few days, tension has prevailed in several districts of Jammu and Kashmir following clashes between security forces and civilians. The Amarnath cave shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the main shrine is claimed to be over 5,000-years-old.

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