Srinagar | Jagran News Desk: For the second time in a row, the annual Amarnath yatra has been cancelled and will only be "symbolic" in wake of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in the country, said Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Manoj Sinha on Monday. In a couple of Tweets, Sinha said that it is important to save the lives of the people which is why the pilgrimage has been cancelled looking at the "public interest".

"Shri Amarnathji Yatra cancelled in wake of Covid-19 Pandemic. Decision after threadbare discussion with Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board members. Yatra to be symbolic only. However, all the traditional religious rituals shall be performed at the Holy Cave Shrine as per past practice," he tweeted.

Following the annoucement of the L-G, Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board said that all traditional religious rituals will be performed at the Holy Cave Shrine as per past practice. The board also said that it will arrange online darshan for devotees worldwide.

The board also said that both morning telecast of Aarti at 6 am and evening Aarti at 5 pm, each for 30 minutes, is to be live-streamed on Shri Amarnath ji Shrine board official website and the app specifically dedicated for the devotees.

"The shrine board have made the arrangements for the mace of Lord Shiva- Chhari Mubarak' to be taken to the holy cave on August 22, when the yatra is to conclude coinciding with the festival of Raksha Bandhan," said Amarnathji Shrine Board CEO Nitishwar Kumar, as reported by news agency ANI.

"Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board has been assessing the COVID situation in the Union Territory and the country. Our focus is on containing the pandemic and strengthening health infrastructure," he added.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma