- The security officials were withdrawn from the area according to the protocol.
- Since the bus was not registered, there was no information about its movement, hence the security breach.
- Tour authorities said that they were forced to ply beyond the permissible time limit because of a flattened tyre.
As social media platforms explode with condemnation and regret for the attack on Amarnath pilgrims, there are others which blame the government for not being efficient enough in handling the terror situation in Jammu and Kashmir. It is easier to do that, despite the fact that notices were issued both by government officials and the Amarnath Yatra board regarding the do's and dont's during the yatra.
It was clearly mentioned that all pilgrims have to register themselves before beginning the journey so that adequate security measures can be taken to ensure the safety of the yatris. But that was something that was not followed by the bus that was plying from Baltal to Jammu at 8:20 pm. As PL Mall, superintendent of police of Sabarkantha, while speaking to the Times of India rightly pointed out, "The bus with registration number GJ09Z9976 registered in name of Umiya Sai Travels of Idar was sold to Om Travels in Valsad. The bus which had owner Jawahar Desai's son Harsh on board left for Amarnath pilgrimage on July 2. After offering prayers, the bus was returning back when it was attacked. The injured includes Harsh Desai."
CRPF chief Rajiv Bhatnagar also said,"The bus was not part of the official convoy. It was not registered with the Amarnath board, as required for all non-official vehicles headed for the shrine. The official convoy had passed the spot at 7pm, under protective cover of Jammu and Kashmir Police and CRPF. The security personnel had therefore withdrawn from the area by the time the attack took place around 8.20 pm."
The police also claimed that the driver of the bus was at fault since he was plying the bus beyond permissible hours. Speaking of the measures that the government had taken to ensure the safety of the yatris, reports suggest that satellite tracking systems, drones and mobile bunker vehicles were put in place to secure the pilgrims during the 45-day pilgrimage. The centre is also said to have provided 40,000 paramilitary forces to assist the state government for the yatra.
Now consider this, since the bus was not registered and was not part of the convoy to Amarnath yatra, there was no information whatsoever about its movement. The road-opening party, the presence of which could have saved lives was withdrawn at 7:30 pm. It has also been clearly instructed that pilgrims should not be travelling without road-opening parties and escorts. But, this particular group was travelling on their own.
However, authorities representing the tour bus said that their journey was delayed beyond the permissible time limit because of a flattened tyre, ehich forced them to wait for over 2 hours.
Amid tensions, a fresh batch of Amarnath Yatris set out for the Yatra this morning. Pilgrims say that they have full faith on the government and the army and have nothing to fear. Pilgrims are recommended to visit the official site of the Amarnath Board Shrine to get the list of Do's and Dont's for the pilgrims.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:39 PM