Raman Singh condemns attack on Amarnath yatris

Laura Christensen
July 12, 2017

Security personnel have since said the target of the terror attack had been a police party and that the bus carrying the yatris had got caught in the crossfire.

The ill-fated bus from Gujarat that came under terrorist fire started its journey from the Amarnath base camp of Baltal at 5pm, the cut-off time for buses on the route.

Salim, the Gujarati driver of the bus that was ferrying the passengers, has now emerged as a hero by saving so many innocent lives while risking his own.

The Amarnath cave shrine visisted by Yatra pilgrims was discovered by a Muslim shepherd and symbolizes the confluence of faiths and the centuries-old composite culture of Kashmiris.

"We deplore the attack on #Amarnath pilgrims & condemn all acts of terrorism".

"Pained beyond words on the dastardly attack on peaceful Amarnath pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir", Modi said on social network Twitter.

Authorities said the two-month pilgrimage season would continue after the attack on the bus, which was not part of the official convoy carrying pilgrims.

The Concerned Citizens Group, which has been studying the situation in Kashmir amid widespread violence in the recent past, on Tuesday strongly condemned the attack.

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Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said, the attack is an act against humanity.

According to senior security officials familiar with the attack, the militants had tracked the passage of the Amarnath Yatra convoys for days.

The State Government will foot the medical bills of each of the 19 injured pilgrims, said Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who, along with his deputy Nitin Patel, ministers, MPs, MLAs and State BJP chief Jitubhai Vaghani, received the bodies of the victims at Surat airport on Tuesday afternoon.

The police said the bus driver had violated rules for the pilgrimage, which state that no yatra vehicle should be on the highway after 7 pm as the security cover is withdrawn after that. They had issued alerts to the state police, which the Inspector General of the Jammu and Kashmir police forwarded to the local police and Army formations.

He pointed out that Kashmiri terrorist Syed Salahuddin in an interview to The Telegraph had indicated that such attacks would be carried out. The government has deployed three empty buses to make sure that no pilgrims are stranded on the way.

The attack coincided with the first anniversary of the death of Burhan Wani, a 21-year-old commander of the militant separatist group Hizbul Mujaheedin.

Opposition leader Sonia Gandhi also condemned the attack, She said, "The attack on the devotees of Lord Shiva is a crime against humanity".

Other reports by My Hot News

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