In his letters, VHP’s Surindra Kumar Jain said in view of the disturbances created by stone pelters and separatists earlier, the authorities should not only open the Leh-Kargil-Drass-Baltal route but also the entire yatra routes should be handed over to the Army. The new route requires least facilities and pilgrims can start early in the morning from Drass and return after praying at the holy cave the same evening provided traffic was smooth at Jozilla Pass, Jain said.
The VHP said service tax on helicopter services and other levies on pilgrims in the state should immediately be withdrawn as these were being seen as “jazia” by Hindu devotees. Vehicles carrying pilgrims bound for Anmarnath Yatra should be exempt from road tax and other taxes, it added.
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