A total of 5,791 pilgrims are on their way to pay obeisance at the cave shrine of Amarnath, while the first group is headed for the Pahalgam base camp the other batches have proceeded to Baltal. The yatra has been in the news since it started on June 28 for one reason or the other. And now, it has come drawn flak from the local Kashmiris after pictures of men, claimed to be Amarnath Yatris, urinating on the banks of Dal Lake have gone viral.

According to a Freepress Kashmir report, a Srinagar based journalist, Fahad Shah tweeted the picture of men urinating on the banks of Dal lake and captioned it as, “This is what so-called tourists or Yatris from mainland India, who bring so called economy, do to #Kashmir, the so called heaven!”

The picture then started circulating on Twitter and Facebook with people criticising the men seen in the photo.

However, some people were equally critical of the locals, who were blaming the tourists for their act, slamming them for being responsible for releasing sewage into the lake.

“Tourists peeing at a weed unloading point on the bank of world famous Dal Lake in Kashmir,” a Kashmiri scholar, Basharat Ali, was quoted by Freepress Kashmir as saying.

While some people have taken this opportunity to take on the Centre on its Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, saying that after such hype about the flagship scheme of the government, nothing has been done on the ground level.

A Delhi based journalist shared the photo and said, “So much hype and basic arrangements for toilets.. A flagship of the Govt.. have not been made. Wow! And yes it’s true open defecation is a totally North Indian bimaru belt occurrence with the south also hesitant to follow suit.”

Before the start of the annual pilgrimage, Governor NN Vohra had reviewed the preprations, including those related to security of the 40 day-long of the yatra.



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