Geelani wants reduction in duration of Amarnath yatra

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Srinagar, June 19 (ANI): Leader of the hardline faction of the All Party Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani has demanded a reduction in the duration of the annual pilgrimage to Amarnath from two months to 15 days.

"They should come for the Yatra, we are not against it. But we are against the fact that the duration of the pilgrimage which was 15 days earlier, has now been extended to two months," Geelani said.

When it has been extended to two months, it would affect our atmosphere," he added.

Geelani was addressing protestors demonstrating against the killing of a teenager during clashes between police and stone-pelting youths in Srinagar on Friday evening.

Geelani pointed out that if the pilgrimage at Gangotri has restrictions on the number of visitors, then it was possible to have restriction for Amarnath as well.

The pilgrimage to Amarnath from the Pahalgam-Chandanwari route will begin from July 01.

This year over 115,000 pilgrims have registered their names across the country for taking part in the pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave.

During the two-month-long annual pilgrimage, devotees walk and proceed astride ponies or in palanquins to the cave - situated at an altitude of 3,800 meters , to pray at an ice stalagmite which gets formed every year, which they regard as symbol of Hindu god Lord Shiva. (ANI)

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