Militants attacked a bus carrying pilgrims from the holy Amarnath Yatra on Monday. It is a ‘first of its kind’ attack in 17 years, the last Amarnath Yatra attack being on August 1, 2000.

The attack took place as militants opened fire on a bus carrying about 56 passengers. The firing which lasted for about a minute killed 7 pilgrims including 5 women and injuring 15 others. The bus, which came under attack at Botengo, was carrying yatris from Baltal to Jammu.

Prime Minister on Amarnath Yatra Attack

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attacks in a series of tweets yesterday night. The Prime Minister also assured every possible assistance to the J&K Government in dealing with the situation.

Security Advisory violation turned unfortunate

Security forces said that the bus, carrying a registration of Gujarat, violated the security advisory of the J&K police. Looking at the current situations in Kashmir, the Amarnath yatra was provided extra security cover.

Initially, the security advisory demands the pilgrims to be registered. Secondly, the security forces escort all the registered Yatris in a special Yatra Convoy with tight security. Lastly, the advisory restricts pilgrim movement after 7 pm at night.

However, it is found that all the three norms of the advisory were violated. This could have made it an easy target for the militants. Nevertheless, the attack comes as a loophole in the security set up.

About the Amarnath Shrine

Amarnath Yatra attack

The Amarnath shrine is one of the most revered Hindu pilgrimages. A muslim shepherd named Buta Malik discovered the cave shrine in 1850. Sibce then, Buta Malik and his family became the custodians of the shrine.

However, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board took over the yatra organisation, evicting the Malik family in 2000. The board formed by the J&K Government has the Governor as the Chairman. In 2005, the board extended the duration of the yatra to two months.

The shrine in itself, is a symbol of communal harmony and Kashmir’s culture. However the attacks comes as a blow to the secular imagery.

President Pranab Mukherjee too condemned the Amarnath Yatra attacks.

Meanwhile, the political parties have started politicizing the issue with the opposition blaming the BJP for the security lapse. On the other hand, the attack adds to the growing concerns about rising terror in the valley.

Also read: Terrorism, Islam and Common Man 

Rahul Gandhi, INC Vice President, also condemned the attack in a series of tweets.

Sitaram Yechury, the CPI leader, also condemned the attack while blaming the BJP for the tense.

The latest information adds that the Lashkar-e-Toiba took the responsibility of the Amarnath Yatra attack. J&K Police IG Muneer Khan informed that the attacks were masterminded by Pakistani terrorist Ismail.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Rajnath Singh called a high level meeting to discuss about the situation.

Featured Image Cortesy: India Today

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