Security personnel on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway
Security personnel on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway

Jammu: The 43-day-long 'Machail Mata Yatra' in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir was suspended on Saturday due to security reasons, officials said. Authorities have asked people not to start the yatra and those on the way should leave and get back.

"The yatra has been suspended with immediate effect due to security reasons," Deputy Commissioner of Kishtwar Angrez Singh Rana told PTI. The yatra commenced on July 25 and was scheduled to end on September 5.

Thousands of devotees from across the country visit the scenic Paddar valley, also famous for its sapphire mines, during the yatra and pay obeisance at the holy shrine of goddess Durga in Machail village of Kishtwar after trekking a 30-km arduous route.

Kishtwar, which was declared terrorism-free over a decade ago, was rattled by the killing of state secretary of BJP Anil Parihar and his brother Ajeet Parihar on November 1 last year, followed by assassination of senior RSS leader Chanderkant Sharma and his security guard inside a health centre on April 9. The annual Amarnath Yatra has already been suspended due to security reasons.

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