NEW DELHI, July 12: Expressing concern over the death of more than 60 Amarnath pilgrims, BJP today charged that a “lethargic” Jammu and Kashmir government and the Centre as well as the curtailing of the yatra’s duration “under pressure from separatists” were responsible for it.
“One of the highest revered and most religious pilgrimage centres of Hindus has become a target of Jammu and Kashmir government’s lethargic approach and a complete lack of facilities and infrastructure resulting in one of the highest number of deaths of pilgrims on their way to the shrine. This is most deplorable,” BJP spokesperson Tarun Vijay said.
A delegation of BJP leaders will meet Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday and later call on Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra to press for action on the issue.
BJP alleged that the separatist elements have been demanding curtailment, stoppage and reducing the duration of the yatra.
“They have succeeded in reducing the duration of the yatra which has resulted in the tragic situation contributing to increasing number of deaths of the pilgrims. In just 17 days, more than 60 pilgrims have died,” Vijay said.
According to reports, 67 pilgrims have died. Duration of the yatra was reduced from 60 to 39 days this year.
BJP insisted that those who have lost their lives are not just the old but even people in the age group of 22-26 as well as army jawans and “young, acclimatised” local porters.
Vjay chargedg the state government with showing apathy to the sufferings of the Amarnath pilgrims.