New Delhi, July 13 - In the backdrop of the high casualty figure during the current annual Amarnath pilgrimage, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today advised people to get "genuine health certificates" which would enable the state authorities to make a correct assessment about their physical ability to undertake the arduous journey.
The statement of Omar comes in the wake of death of 72 pilgrims so far while undertaking the annual pilgrimage this year. The Chief Minister was quick to point to "wrong" medical certificates being produced by the yatris during the health screening.
"On our side, we are trying to put in place a mechanism of health screening but unfortunately it seems that the health certificates that are being produced are not genuine representations of the condition of the pilgrim," Omar told reporters here.
He said one needs to see the age profile of the pilgrims who are dying either during this pilgrimage or immediately after it.
"Please understand that these pilgrims have to climb enormous heights in very difficult circumstances, enormous strains on their bodies and particularly on their hearts.
"Now, with the best will in the world we cannot guarantee everybody's health particularly if you are going to come with a health certificate that is not a genuine assessment of what your health is," he said.
The Chief Minister advised that the pilgrims should give right assessment of their health and "we will know whether you should undertake the pilgrimage or not. Cooperate with us..."
He said "it is unfortunate that the pilgrims are dying during this pilgrimage...There is a large number of pilgrims this year as compared to previous years." PTI