Pilgrim dies at Amarnath base camp


A 59-year-old pilgrim from Uttar Pradesh died at the Baltal base camp of Amarnath yatra in central Kashmir, raising the death toll in the ongoing annual pilgrimage to seven, police said on Thursday. Banki Lal, a resident of Mohalla Patel Nagar, Bisalpur, in Uttar Pradesh, fell ill on Wednesday morning and was referred to SKIMS Hospital at Soura here, a police official said.

He said Lal was later discharged from the hospital and was brought back to Baltal by his associates. At about 10.30 pm on Wednesday night, Lal again complained of ill health and was brought to base hospital Baltal where doctors declared him dead, the official said. While six pilgrims have died during the ongoing yatra, mostly due to cardiac arrests, an assistant-sub inspector of ITBP also died at Brarimarg on June 28. The 40-day yatra is scheduled to end on August 7 coinciding with Raksha Bandhan.

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The yatra was going on smoothly from both the routes–the traditional Pahalgam track in Anantnag district and Baltal, and on the seventh day of the Yatra on Wednesday, 10,561 pilgrims paid obeisance at the holy cave. Since the beginning of the pilgrimage on June 29, 90,045 pilgrims have visited the shrine.