Chief priest of Mata Vaishno Devi shrine dies; LG expresses condolences

Jammu: Head priest at the revered Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Amir Chand passed away at his residence in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district on Saturday, officials said.

The 85-year-old ‘Pratham Pujari’ apparently died of a heart attack at his Katra residence, the officials said, adding his cremation will take place at Balganga later in the day.

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Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, who is also the chairman of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB), expressed his grief over the priest’s death.

In a tweet in Hindi, the Lt Governor said, “The news of the death of Shri Amir Chand Ji, the chief priest of Mata Vaishno Devi Ji, is extremely sad. I pay my humble tributes to him. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family and followers. Om Shanti.”