- Intelligence agencies had an inkling of an impending danger, given the fact that the area has considerable presence of Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar militants.
- Adequate security arrangements had also been made.
- However, due to lack of knowledge of the date and time of attack, proper measures could not be taken.
In yet another terror strike, terrorists open fired at a bus ferrying Amarnath pilgrims. The incident took place in an area near Batengoo in J&K's Anantnag district, which is 50 kilometers from Srinagar. Although there are varied reports pertaining to the dead and the injured, it is being said that at least 7 have been killed and close to 28 have been injured in the attack.
A Times of India report also suggests that a nearby police camp was also attacked, which could have increased the death toll. Initial reports suggested that the bus was not registered with the Amarnath shrine board and was travelling at an odd time, without adequate security. The bus was travelling from Jammu to Baltal and was not a part of the convoy.
The attack carried out on the first day of shravan is considered to be symbolical in many ways. An important pilgrimage, apart from being an important day, terrorists are said to have planned the attack meticulously to send out a message. Inside sources said that the terrorists had first attacked a police bunker at Batengoo, before attacking a police naka near Khanabal. However, they were unsuccessful in both the attacks since they faced heavy retaliation. That was when the tourist bus was arracked, leading to casualties.
It is being said that intelligence agencies had an inkling of an impending danger, given the fact that the area has considerable presence of Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar militants. Security was also beefed up since the date coincided with the first death anniversary of Hizbul leader Burhan Wani whose death sparked off sustained violence in the Kashmir valley.
However, there were no concrete news about the date and time of the attack. Amarnath Yatris, especially, were relaxed after a report emerged on June 9 where Hizbul terrorists assured Amarnath pilgrims of their safety. There is a clear mandate from the shrine board advisory, which states that all pilgrims have to register themselves for the pilgrimage so that adequate security can be arranged. Moreover, the convoy starts early so that they can reach the base camp before sunset. The advisory also warns pilgrims from venturing out in the highway after sunset.
Twitter, meanwhile is exploding with comments and condolences by celebrities, who condemned the attack.
Saddening to see innocent lives being taken. Prayers for the victims & may God give strength to the families of the #AmarnathYatra pilgrims— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) July 10, 2017
Attack on innocent #AmarnathYatra pilgrims is a low of another level! Angry and sad...prayers for all those affected.— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) July 10, 2017
For years Kashmiri Muslims have helped Hindu brothers undertake #AmarnathYatra.Shame on terrorists. We will not let hate win#UnitedWeStand— Huma Qureshi (@humasqureshi) July 10, 2017
I have spoken to the BJP District President and MLC from Anantnag and asked our karyakartas in Kashmir to help the pilgrims in need.— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) July 10, 2017
2000: Pahalgam 27 Yatris killed— Sanjiv Bhatt (IPS) (@sanjivbhatt) July 10, 2017
2017: Anantnag 7 Yatris killed
BJP IN POWER AT CENTRE ON BOTH OCCASSIONS
NO ATTACKS ON YATRIS IN BETWEEEN😟
Strongly condemn horrific attack on #AmarnathYatra pilgrims by terrorists at Anantnag. Such dastardly act should not go unpunished.— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) July 10, 2017
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:47 PM