Seven Amaranth Yatra pilgrims including six women, one man were killed and 19 others were left injured after militants attacked an unescorted bus from Gujarat at Khanabal, Anantnag district on the Srinagar-Jammu highway on Monday evening.
The attack that occurred at around 8:20 PM flouted the security protocol by not getting itself registered with the Amarnath board says CRPF. The victims were travelling in the bus which was neither part of the escorted Yatra convoy nor registered with the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).
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.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Pranab Mukherjee along with a score of political parties and leaders have condemned the coward attack by the terrorists.
02: 40 PM IST | President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, Asaduddin Owaisi has condemned the attack on Amarnath Yatra Pilgrims as “heinous” crime. “We cannot allow Lashkar and ISI to succeed. The country is united. This was a heinous attack,” he said.
“No one should play politics over the attack. The government will need to answer certain questions, if not today then tomorrow,” he added.
02: 10 PM IST | Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad condemns the attack calling it a “cowardly” act where the terrorsists attacked the “Kashmiriyat of India”.
“Amarnath Yatra is a symbol of Kashmiriyat. They have attacked the Kashmiriyat of India. Innocent bhajan singing devotees were killed. Security forces are taking action,” said Prasad.
01: 25 PM IST | Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani meets Amarnath Yatra pilgrims injured in the terrorist attack yesterday.
01: 15 PM IST | The mortal remains of the pilgrims who lost their lives in the terror attack on Monday brought to Surat, Gujarat. Five out of the seven dead are from Gujrat. The injured have been brought along to Surat.
Meanwhile, Gujarat government has announced a compensation of Rs Rs 10 lakh for the kin of each of the Amarnath pilgrims killed by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. Another Rs 2 lakh would be given to each of the injured, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said.
01:03 PM IST | Congress hits out at the government and security agency for not able to evade the terrorists from attacking the bus carrying Amarnath Yatra pilgrims despite early intelligence reports.
Speaking to the media, the senior leader of Congress Gulam Nabi Azad said, “there were intelligence inputs well in advance, why was there a failure in preventing this attack.”
12: 30 PM IST | Sources who are a part of the team reviewing the situation in Kashmir, on the timeline of the incident:
The bus carrying pilgrims had a flat tyre, and by the time it was fixed other vehicles of the convoy had gone ahead. When the bus started moving along with an escort SOG vehicle (which was accompanying it all along), the SOG vehicle was ambushed by militants. After retaliation by SOG, the militants ran away and dispersed.
Two kilometres ahead, there was another trap to waylay the SOG vehicle. By the time the bus and the SOG vehicle reached the place on the road where the trap was laid, it was already 8 PM. The militants assumed that the bus was filled with security personnel since pilgrims usually don’t travel so late, and opened fire on the bus leading to casualties.
12: 02 PM IST | The Jammu and Kashmir police has issued a list of Do’s and Dont’s for the Amarnath pilgrims visiting the state.
Provisions – One can also buy ration at fair prices from the specially established Govt. Depots at Chandanwari, Sheshnag and Panjtarni. Numerous tea-stalls and small restaurants can be of great relief. However, pilgrims are advised to carry with them biscuits, toffees, tinned food etc. to cater to their immediate needs. Firewood or gas can be obtained at Chandanwari, Sheshnag, Panjtarni and near the Cave.
Insurance – A Yatri duly registered by the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board for the Yatra, having a valid Yatra Permit issued by the SASB will be entitled to an insurance cover in case of death due to accident while undertaking the Yatra.
Accommodation – Insulated huts and tents are installed during the Yatra at various Camps. These are available on rentals.
Registration – Get a registration done about a month ahead of the date fixed for the commencement of Yatra.
Shri Amarnath – Yatra Guidelines. Do’s and Dont’s
|Obtain a valid Yatra Permit after due registration as per the procedure prescribed by the SASB.||Don’t stop at places which are marked by warning notices.|
|Carry essentials like wind-cheater, raincoat, sleeping bag, waterproof shoes, torch as the climate is unpredictable.||Don’t smoke and don’t carry/consume any kind of narcotic or alcoholic substance.|
|Saree is not a suitable dress for the Yatra. Prefer Salwar kameez, pant-shirt or a track suit||Don’t use slippers. Wear shoes with laces.|
|Small children should not undertake the Yatra.||Don’t attempt any short cuts on the route.|
|Make sure ponywalla, the labouror, the dandiwalla is properly registered and carries an ID Card.||Do not cause pollution or disturb the environment.|
|Keep your clothes and eatables in a suitable water proof bag.||Do not touch or tamper with Holy Lingam and. No flash cameras inside Cave.|
|Carry sufficient money to pay for your accommodation.||Don’t stay overnight at Holy cave due to low oxygen.|
|Keep in your pocket a note containing the name/address/mobile telephone number.||Do not pay more for Helicopter service than the rates displayed.|
11: 40 AM IST | National Security Advisor Ajit Doval will be monitoring the security for the Amarnath pilgrims and in the valley. Doval also briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the current situation.
11: 35 AM IST | Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah condemns the attack and askes the pilgrims and tourists to show them (terrorists) that you are not afraid.
“Come and show them that you are not afraid, that’s what is very important,” said Farooq Abdullah
11: 15 AM IST | Silence observed at the opposition leaders’ meeting at the Parliament over the terrorist attack on Amarnath Yatra Pilgrims.
Leaders from various political parties are meeting in the parliament to discuss over Vice Presidential poll. Meeting has now begun. Here is an exclusive list of the leaders who have arrived for the meeting.
Congress: Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, DR Manmohan Singh, Ahmad Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ghulam Nabi Azad, AK Antony.
NCP: Tariq Anwar, Praful Patel.
JDU: Sharad Yadav.
SP: Naresh Aggarwal.
BSP: Satish Chandra Mishra.
CPM: Sitaram yechury
CPI: Sudhakar Reddy, D Raja.
DMK: TKS Elangovan.
RLD: Ajeet Singh.
NC: Omar Abdullaha.
JMM: Hemant Soren.
11: 12 AM IST | National General Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Ram Madhav promises to take strong action against the perpetrators of the Amarnath attack. Speaking exclusively to NewsX, Madhav said that the “perpetrators would be punished severely” and the pilgrimage yatra will continue to go on.
Condemning the attack, Madhav also appealed the nation to stay together. “This is time for the nation to remain united,” he said.
11: 00 AM | High-level meeting at Home Minister Rajnath Singh following the Amarnath attack ends. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, IB Chief and other officials leave Home Minister’s residence.
10: 50 AM IST | Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has announced ex-gratia of Rs 5 Lakh to the families of the victims who lost their lives in the militant attack on the Amarnath Yatra bus in Anantnag district last night.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani along with other state BJP leaders leave for Surat to meet the victims’ families.
10: 45 AM IST | Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Deputy CM Nirmal Singh today paid tribute to those killed in Amarnath terror attack. Earlier, Mufti and deputy Nirmal Singh also met the pilgrims injured in the attack last night and offered to give all the required medical assistance to them.
CM Mehbooba Mufti has also called for a cabinet meeting today.
10: 40 AM IST | Amid the unrest in the Valley and attack on bus carrying pilgrims, a fresh batch of 3,289 Amarnath pilgrims left Jammu for the Kashmir Valley in an escorted convoy of 185 vehicles, say officials.
The 40-day long yatra started on June 29 and will end on August 7. So far, nearly 1.40 lakh pilgrims have reached the cave shrine located at 3,888 metres above sea-level.
10: 35 AM IST | This is not the first time Amarnath pilgrims have been targeted by the terrorists. Many attacks have taken place on Amarnath Yatris in past as well repeatedly exposing the security lapses prevalent during the yatra.
10: 12 AM IST | As per the initial reports, the attack on the bus carrying Amarnath Yatra pilgrims was carried out by terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). Reportedly the investigations also suggest that the attack was masterminded by Pakistani militant Ismail, IG Kashmir Muneer Khan says.
09: 45 AM IST | A high-level meeting is taking place at Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s residence over the attack on Amarnath Yatra Pilgrims in J&K. Rajnath Singh also called J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti in the wake of terror attack involving Amarnath pilgrims and assured her of all support.
09: 30 AM IST | Taking a jibe at the Central government, Congress leader RS Surjewala says that the attack on the pilgrims’ bus shows a major security lapse. Referring to the intelligence inputs that had raised concern over a possible attack on the Amarnath Yatra, Surjewala questioned why there were so preventive measures taken to avert the situation.
“This is a matter of serious security lapse on the part of Government and security forces.There were intelligence inputs on 25th June, why no preventive measures were taken?”