ALSO READAmarnath attack: Forces failed to act despite intelligence inputs of 'sensational strike' Amarnath Yatra: 1,180 pilgrims leave for holy shrine with 43-vehicle convoy Undeterred by terror attacks, more pilgrims set off for Amarnath yatra Amarnath yatra attack: Don't want to play blame game on this, says Congress Amarnath yatra terror attack: 5 Gujaratis, 2 from Maha killed in Kashmir
As many as 53 pilgrims have been killed in 36 terror attacks on the annual Amarnath yatra in the last 27 years, the Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday. "From 1990 till date, 36 terrorist attacks have been reported on Amarnath yatris in which 53 were killed and 167 were injured," Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said in reply to a written question. Ahir said all possible arrangements are being made by the Jammu and Kashmir government with the help of the Centre to strengthen the pilgrimage's security. In the latest terror attack that took place on July 10, seven pilgrims were killed in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir. One injured pilgrim succumbed to her injuries later. Replying to another question, he said the duration and schedule of the pilgrimage are based on the decision taken by the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board every year. The duration of the yatra is decided by the extent of snowfall in the preceding winter and the date on which Raksha Bandhan falls, when it is traditionally concluded, he said. Therefore, the minister said, the duration of the pilgrimage varies from year to year.
In 2017, the pilgrimage commenced on June 29 and will culminate on Raksha Bandhan which falls on August 7. "As such, the 2017 yatra is of 40 days. In 2016, it commenced on July 2 and concluded on August 18, and therefore, it was of 48 days," he said.