Fact Check: Govt denies report of 400 devotees being stranded at Vaishno Devi

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On Wednesday, the Press Information Bureau (PIB) rejected claims that 400 devotees are stranded at Vaishno Devi.

The PIB Fact Check handle tweeted: “Social media messages claiming that 400 devotees are stranded at the #VaishnoDevi or Katra is false. PIB Fact check: It is clarified that Yatra stopped on 18th March, much before the lockdown: CEO of the shrine board has already clarified the same to the media.”

RK Jangid, CEO Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Jammu and Kashmir, told news agency ANI, “Some news is spreading in social media that 400 devotees are stranded at the Vaishno Devi shrine. It is clarified that no devotee is stranded in Katra or Vaishno Devi. Yatra stopped on 18th March, much before the lockdown.”

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Earlier on Monday, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court directed the Union Territory authorities to ensure that around 400 pilgrims from Bihar, stranded at Mata Vaishno Devi shrine, are not vacated from the hotels and are provided with adequate facilities during the nationwide lockdown to combat coronavirus.

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The order said that a direction is issued to the Chief Executive Officer, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, and the Deputy Commissioner, Reasi to ensure that these pilgrims are not asked to vacate their current lodgings and their needs are fully provided for till such time as the lockdown persists.

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