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A Hindu woman and her child are carried by palanquin bearers (chairs carried on poles by two or four people) as they make their pilgrimage to the holy cave of Amarnath, one of the most revered Hindu shrines, near Baltal. 21,000 paramilitary soldiers and policemen were deployed along the mountain route to protect the pilgrims from Islamic guerrillas, who have been fighting for independence of the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir since 1989.