More than 24 people were injured and over seventy tents were gutted Friday when clashes broke out between two groups in Kashmir’s Baltal base camp of Amarnath Yatra, police said.
Police said a scuffle between two people over a trifle matter resulted in clashes between two groups in Baltal base camp, around 100 km from Srinagar.
“Over two dozen people were injured in the clashes after a scuffle between a ‘langar’ (free kitchen) manager and a local pony owner in Baltal in the morning. Police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel have intervened,” a senior police officer said here.
“The situation is now under control now,” he added, but at least seventy tents were gutted during clashes.
Stone hurling clashes broke out following the stabbing of a local man last night. The government has suspended the Amaranth pilgrimage enroute to the cave have been suspended keeping in view the incident in the area. Official sources said that Naib Khan son of Sardar Khan of Kupwara, a ponniwala was sleeping inside a tent at Baltal when a cook from Katra stabbed him.
“After stabbing him, the cook beaten him ruthlessly and his cries got the attention of other locals who rushed towards him,” sources said, adding that Khan was immediately shifted to nearby hospital where from he was removed to SKIMS in Soura for specialized treatment.
Early today morning, when the news about the incident spread in the area, all the locals started pelting stones on the mobile vendors who believed to be the supporters of the cook, reports said, adding that police used tear gas shelling.
They said that keeping in view the stone pelting clashes in the area, the authorities suspended the pilgrimage till normalcy returns. “We are protesting against the cook and his supporters, they belong to Katra and there is no harm to pilgrims, we are not against pilgrimage,” a local Abdul Majeed said. He said stern action should be taken against the culprit. Meanwhile, an extra contingent of police was rushed to the area to maintain the law and order.