Citing inclement weather, the Jammu and Kashmir government Sunday denied permission to a group of around 100 Bajrang Dal members from going to the Amarnath shrine base camps. They were asked to halt at Udhampur, 70 km from here.
The group was on its way to Baltal and Pahalgam base camps to inspect the route to the cave shrine ahead of the pilgrimage next month and help clear the snow for smooth movement of devotees.
"The decision (to stop the group) was taken after a detailed discussion with Bajrang Dal in a high-level meeting," a government spokesperson said in a statement.
"The administration is actively working on ensuring a safe and clear route to the cave well before the commencement of the yatra (pilgrimage)," said the statement.
This year's pilgrimage begins June 25 and ends August 2.
Bajrang Dal has been critical of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board's decision to reduce the pilgrimage's time period citing hostile climate. It said the board was misleading the devotees.
The Dal's regional co-convener Nand Kishore Mishra had said that the board had reduced the pilgrimage days from 60 to 39 in 2009, 55 in 2010 and 45 in 2011. He called it "anti-religious".
However, the board had said the number of day was reduced sue to hostile weather conditions. Late year, 107 people died during the pilgrimage.