Close to 500 pilgrims to the Amarnath shrine from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are reportedly stranded in parts of Jammu and Kashmir. TOI reported that while many pilgrims are stuck on the Balthal-Srinagar Highway, at least 200 are confined to various lodges and hotels in Srinagar, due to the tense situation that has developed in Jammu and Kashmir. A total of 7,000 to 8,000 pilgrims from the two Telugu states are believed to currently be in Jammu and Kashmir.
With curfew being imposed in some areas, and mobile networks being restricted, the pilgrims have found their movements severely constrained, and are also having trouble contacting their families back home.
“We are stuck for the past three days and unable to move. Health condition of some of the pilgrims is going down due to severe cold and hostile weather conditions,” The Hindu quoted Srinivas, a pilgrim from Ranga Reddy district, as saying.
Talking to The News Minute, the Telangana In-Charge Director General of Police, Anjani Kumar, said, “The Jammu and Kashmir government has assured us that safety measures are being taken and the pilgrims are being provided with food, shelter and medication. The movement of shifting them to Delhi has begun and we are waiting for further developments. The developments are slow in the areas where curfew is imposed.”
Simultaneous efforts by the AP government to rescue pilgrims from the state are also on. A representative from the office of the Andhra Pradesh DGP, JV Ramudu, told TNM, “Telugu people from both the states are safe in Kashmir, and we are asking Kashmir state officials to make arrangements for shifting pilgrims to AP Bhavan, in Delhi. The Jammu and Kashmir government has already issued notices to the officials asking them to shift pilgrims to a safer zone as soon as possible.”