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Rush of devotees at Mata Vaishno Devi shrine ahead of new year

KATRA: The Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu witnessed a huge rush of devotees on Saturday as serpentine queues were seen on the Trikota hills of Katra despite the severe cold conditions ahead of New Year.

Devotees hailing from different regions of the country, including children, were seen chanting “Jai Mata Di” as they made their way up and down the hill, wishing each other the best ahead of the new year.

“I am getting a good feeling. I come here on the eve of every new year. I have been coming here for 5-6 years to pray to Mata Devi. I am feeling good,” said Manish Kumar, a devotee from Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh, who was seen chanting “Jai Mata Di”.

Poonam Sharma, another devotee said, “I wish that ‘Mata Rani’ shower her blessings upon everyone. Everyone remain happy. May the new year turn out well and bring happiness to everyone”.

Reminded about the Vaishno Devi stampede of January 1, 2022, in which 12 people were killed and 16 were injured, Sharma said, “It was an unfortunate incident.” And hoped more facilities would be provided in the future.

Ranjan, a devotee who came from Punjab along with her family wished happiness for all.

“I am feeling very happy. May God shower her blessings on everyone — is my wish. I feel fortunate to have come here along with my family to pay our respects at the feet of Mata Devi. I wish happiness to everyone on the eve of the new year,” Ranjan said.

Earlier this month, Jammu and Kashmir Police conducted a security review of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Katra of Reasi district.

On December 21, Deputy Inspector General, Udhampur-Reasi Range Mohd Suleman Choudhary held the security review meeting that was attended by Senior Superintendent of Police, Reasi Amit Gupta, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Commandant, Superintendent of Police, Katra, among others.

The DIG reviewed every security drill of the shrine, the yatra route, safety and security of pilgrims visiting the shrine on a daily basis. The DIG further directed to conduct a joint security drill along with Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) and other intelligence agencies for the security of the shrine. (AGENCIES)


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