Three MI-17 helicopters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) were on Friday deployed to rescue aged and sick Amarnath pilgrims who were stranded at Panjtarni because of bad weather.

The authorities sought help of the IAF to rescue the stranded pilgrims. The pilgrimage was suspended three days ago.

ITBP jawans rescued 326 standed pilgrims from the Panjtarni air-strip near the cave shrine. More than 40,000 pilgrims were stranded at various places on the Pahalgam and Baltal trek routes because of landslides and shooting stones due to heavy rains.

Men of the NDRF, SDRF and various other agencies were engaged in rescuing stranded pilgrims.

Governor NN Vohra personally visited the pilgrim camps to take stock of the situation. The future plans of the pilgrimage will be announced after minutely seeing condition of the routes.

The pilgrimage was suspended three days ago following the death of 5 pilgrims who were buried under a landslide. However, some pilgrims were allowed to proceed today to the cave shrine but the Baltal route continued to remain shut.

For the past three days, no convoy of pilgrims proceeded to Kashmir from here.