A Deadly Terror Attack on the Pilgrims Returning Back from Amarnath Yatra

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On Monday night in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district at least 7 people were killed after terrorists opened fire on the bus full of pilgrims returning from Amarnath Yatra.

When 60-70 pilgrims were returning from Baltal, one of the base camps of the pilgrimage, the attack occurred at Batengoo. Deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh said the bodies of the victims – all of whom were from Gujarat – would be airlifted to state on Tuesday.

Many leader expressed their grief on this incident, Prime Minister Modi said that, India would not be “bogged down” by such “cowardly” acts. Separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik while paying their condolence to the victims said that, “the incident goes against the very grain of Kashmiri ethos”.

“Our bus was moving under security cover along with two others. We were last in the convoy. When we were in Anantnag, we stopped for sightseeing and were left behind,” said 24-year-old Desai, bus driver, who has suffered three bullet injuries. The Gujarat administration has begun investigation in to whether the bus was registered with the shrine board or not.

“The attack on Amarnath pilgrims is highly reprehensible act. Islam does not allow violence against any faith,” the statement by Abdullah Ghaznavi, LeT’s spokesperson.

Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani along with Gujarat BJP chief Jitu Vaghani have left for Surat to meet the victims’ families. Three of total seven killed hailed from south Gujarat. The bodies are expected to arrive at Surat airport around 1 pm.Security has been tightened across the state. Forces have been deployed at airports, railways stations and places of worships.

The J&K police on Tuesday issued a list of the victims who got injured and who lost their lives in this deadly attack by militants. According to the police, Seven people including six women and one man were killed and 19 others were left injured in this attack. The list says five out of those who killed were from Gujrat and two were from Maharastra.

Meanwhile, a fresh batch of 3,289 Amarnath pilgrims left Jammu for the Kashmir Valley on Tuesday despite a terror attack. “A fresh batch of 3,289 yatris left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in an escorted convoy of 185 vehicles around 3 a.m., on Tuesday for the Valley”, officials said here.

The last known terror attack on the Amarnath Yatra was the killing of 30 persons, mostly pilgrims, in the base camp in Pahalgam in 2000. The 40-day long yatra started on June 29 and will end on August 7.

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