Aghar Jitto fest begins amid tight security in Reasi

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Jammu, Jun 18 (UNI) Thousands of pilgrims thronged to participate in three-day long Aghar Jitto festival, which commenced amid tight security last evening in remote village Aghar, some six kms from Katra town in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir, official sources here today said.

''Thousands of devotees from different parts of the state besides tourists from across the country, are visiting this place to attend the three-day long festival,'' Gopal Chand, president, Aghar Jitto Mandir Development Committee told UNI.

''Aghar village always remained a neglected spot due to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine and Shiv Khori Cave in Reasi district but for the past two years, the area has been developed at par with other holy places and today thousands of people are visiting Aghar Jitto to attend the annual festival,'' Mr Gopal said.

However, special arrangements for the pilgrims have been made during this three-day festival besides security. ''All basic facilities including food and lodging have been arranged by the management committee and district administration for the visitors make festival a success,'' Mr Gopal added.

''The festival has great importance in the history of Reasi district and it is an initiative of locals in co-operation with civil administration,'' P K Mengi, Station House Officer (SHO) Katra said.

''Additional troops have been deployed around the village while strict vigil is also being kept to check nefarious designs of anti-national elements,'' Mr Mengi added.

Thousands of people participate in annual Aghar Jitto festival on 'Punya' (full moon night) and offer prayers to their deities.

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