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Chopper seized for illegal sorties for Amarnath pilgrims

July 15, 2012 20:55 IST
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The authorities on Sunday seized a helicopter belonging to a private operator for allegedly making unauthorised sorties between Srinagar and Baltal, the base camp of the Amarnath yatra, in Ganderbal district of Kashmir.

The helicopter was seized by the security officials as it landed at Baltal with five passengers on board at 7.30 am. The passengers took another chopper to proceed to the holy cave shrine, official sources said.

They said as the passengers boarded the chopper without any boarding passes, an inquiry was conducted and it was found that it did not have any permission from the competent authority to fly yatris from Srinagar to Baltal.

The security officials at Baltal suspect that licenced helicopter operators are working in connivance with the private operator to ferry high paying pilgrims from Srinagar to the shrine via Baltal route, the sources said.

While Chief Executive Officer of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board N K Chaudhury did not reply to messages about the incident, his deputy T Singh disconnected the line when contacted over telephone.

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