Nearly 1,600 pilgrims for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra this year

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New Delhi, May 8 (IANS) A total of 1,580 pilgrims will take part in this year’s Kailash Mansarovar Yatra from June 8 to September 8, the External Affairs Ministry said on Tuesday.

“This year, 3,734 applicants had successfully registered online at the website for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, which includes 2,818 male applicants, and 916 female applicants,” the minjstry said in a statement after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj presided over a computerised draw of lots for selection of the pilgrims.

It said there would be 18 batches each consisting of 60 pilgrims via the Lipulekh route from Uttarakhand, and 10 batches each consisting of 50 pilgrims via the Nathu La route from Sikkim.

China last year did not allow Indian pilgrims to travel to Kailash Mansarovar through the Nathu La Pass after the face-off between the Indian and Chinese militaries on Doklam Plateau in the India-Bhutan-China international trijuncion.

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However, the pilgrims opting to undertake the pilgrimage through Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand were allowed.

The matter related to the resumption of the annual pilgrimage through Nathu La was raised by India during meetings with China last year.

Sushma Swaraj also discussed it with her Chinese counterpart in December last year.

Subsequently, the Chinese government has confirmed resumption of the Yatra via the Nathu La route.

Tuesday’s ministry statement said that liaison officers from Central and State governments have appointed for each batch to assist the pilgrims.

It said, starting this year, the government has decided to include two liaison officers in each batch, to render better assistance to the pilgrims.

The Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is organised every year by the Ministry of External Affairs with support from Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Ministry of Home Affairs, the state governments of Delhi, Uttarakhand and Sikkim, Ministry of Defence, and some civil society organizations.

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–IANS

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