BALTAL, KASHMIR, July 18, 2014 (Rising Kashmir): At least 24 people were injured in clashes in Baltal area of Sonamarg, which serves as base camp for Amarnath yatra, after a scuffle between a ponywala and one of the members of a free yatra langer (community kitchen) over some issue. At least 100 tents and four yatra langars were damaged in the fire while authorities suspended yatra from the route. As the news about the incident spread, hundreds of people took to the streets to protest against the incident.
Sources said after the clashes, yatra from the route was suspended [HPI-it has since been resumed]. Meanwhile, senior civil and police officials visited the spot to take stock of the situation. A police official said the situation was brought under control and all the yatries are safe.
Minister for PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control, Sham Lal Sharma, along with senior officers of civil and police administration today visited Shri Amarnath Yatra base camp at Baltal and took stock of the situation. He urged the service providers to maintain peace and order to ensure a smooth yatra. He also directed the police and civil administration to keep close watch on the situation to ensure smooth conduct of yatra and safety of yatries and all service providers.
Photos of the destruction at Batal can be viewed at:
http://www.kashmirdispatch.com/story- ... ures/301125014-baltal.htm