BJP made Amarnath Yatra a political issue: Mehbooba

Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti has accused the Indian government of turning Amarnath Yatra a “political issue” by allowing people to go on the Hindu pilgrimage in numbers far more in excess of what was recommended by a committee.

The Peoples Democratic Party leader hit out at the Narendra Modi led Bharatiya Janata Party government over the Amarnath flash flood which left 16 people dead and over 30 missing, saying the environmental conditions do not permit more than 5,000 pilgrims a day to visit the cave shrine.

Mehbooba, said the BJP made the yatra a political issue, instead of letting it stay a religious one. The environment does not permit more than 5,000 pilgrims every day, but they sent thousands of people there. The result was that the cloudburst took place, she said addressing a party function here.

The PDP president alleged that the authorities in the territory were hiding the actual number of deaths in the incident that took place on Friday. We still do not know, because they are not telling the truth. They are saying 15-16 were killed, but several people are missing. The way motorcycles, dead horses are coming out of the debris, and many people are still missing, it seems there is a huge loss, more than what they are saying, she said.

Mehbooba said the government allowed way more people than were recommended by a committee, only out of stubbornness.

They kept on saying seven lakh people will come and that it will go on for two months, even as there is a committee report which said not more than 5,000 people should go up in a day, not more than 1 lakh in total, and the yatra should go on for just a month, she said.—KMS