STATE TIMES NEWS
AKHNOOR: The first batch of 9-day long Buddha Amarnath pilgrimage left Bhagwati Nagar base camp at Jammu on Friday and the batch comprising 1,056 pilgrims was received at Dumi village on Jammu-Poonch National Highway by an impressive bike rally of Bajrang Dal led by Balkar Singh (Prant Suraksha Pramukh Bajrang Dal). SSP Mohan Lal Bhagat, Deputy Director Indoor SKPA Udhampur was also present on the occasion to welcome the Yatra, observing all traditional religious rituals. Bhavesh Bhai Thakur, Senior Bajrang Dal functionary from Gujarat was also accompanying the Yatra.
Earlier, Yatra was escorted to historical Kameshwar Temple in Akhnoor where senior BJP Leader Sham Lal Sharma, Mahamandleshwar Rameshwar Dass, SSP Mohan Lal Bhagat, Dr Krishan Lal Bhagat Ex-MLA, Jagdish Bhagat BJP District President, Ravi Verma, Sonia Verma and other functionaries of VHP/ Bajrang Dal welcomed the Yatra. The pilgrims were offered snacks and tea soon after their arrival. After paying obeisance at Kameshwar Temple, the pilgrims left for Poonch. The Yatra was flagged-off from temple by former Minister Sham Lal Sharma, Mahamandleshwar Rameshwar Dass and others. Pertinent to mention here that this year, pilgrimage is taking place after a gap of two years as it remained suspended in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID restrictions. J&K police, army as well as paramilitary forces have been deployed for the safety of Yatra, while various other measures have been taken for convenience of pilgrims.
Others present on the occasion included Tehsildar Babu Ram Choudhary, Pardeep Singh, Pardeep Choudhary, Raj Kumar, Raju Kumar, Mukesh Kumar, Vicky Kumar and Kaka.