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After Amarnath Yatra, Machail Yatra to goddess Durga shrine in Kishtwar suspended, pilgrims asked to go back

Yesterday, the government had ordered the evacuation of the Amarnath Yatra pilgrims from Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian Army had revealed that they had recovered an M-24 sniper rifle and Pakistan made mine along the Yatra route.

Amidst the ongoing security situation in Kashmir, yesterday it was declared that the Amarnath Yatra has been suspended and Hindu pilgrims visiting the shrine were asked to return immediately. As per the latest reports, another popular pilgrimage to Jammu’s Kishtwar region, Machail Yatra has been suspended too.

As per reports, Angrez Singh Rana, the district commissioner of Kishtwar has informed that the Machail Yatra to Goddess Durga shrine in the district has been suspended.

Machail is a small village in the Paddar valley that comes under Jammu’s Kishtwar district. The village is home to an old Durga Devi shrine that is revered in the area as Machail Mata mandir. Thousands of devotees, mainly from Jammu region and some from other parts of northern India flock to the shrine in the month of August every year.

The annual Yatra had commenced on July 25 and was to last till September 5. Pilgrims yet to begin their journey have been asked to cancel and those on their way have reportedly been asked to go back.

Kishtwar was declared terrorism free over a decade ago. However, the region was rattled by the assassination of RSS leader Chandrakant Sharma and his security guard in April last year. In Novemver, BJP state secretary Anil Parihar and his brother Ajeet Parihar were also killed in Kishtwar.

Yesterday, the Indian Army had revealed in a press conference that an American M-24 sniper rifle and Pakistan made mines were found in a trrorist cache along the Amarnath Yatra route.

The large scale troops movement, the cancellation of Amarnath Yatra and the evacuation of pilgrims in the state have been the reason of wide speculations and a tensed environment in the state anticipating a major operation by the central government. Theories on the possibility of trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir or abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A are being shared in mainstream and social media.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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