Attack evokes wide spread condemnation with Modi describing it the dastardly act, Mehbooba as attack on Kashmir’s tradition

Sarfaraz Ah Lone / Qayoom Khan

Srinagar, July 10: At least seven Amarnath Yatra pilgrims were killed and 20 others injured after unknown gunmen attacked a bus which, was not registered with Amarnath Shrine Board,  at Batengoo in south Kashmir’s  Anantnag district on Monday evening.

Official sources told Kashmir Glory that the gunmen carried out the attack on bus bearing registration number GJ09Z-9976 near Batengoo at around 8:00 pm. The bus was returning from Baltal and was on its way to Jammu when it came under the attack at Batengoo.

Six of the pilgrims were killed on the spot while one of the injured succumbed before being admitted in the army hospital along the highway.

Twenty injured yatris have been admitted in the 92 base hospital at Badamibagh and are being presently treated there. The attack evoked widespread condemnation with PDP senior leader and government spokesman Naeem Akthar terming it as the dark patch in the history of Kashmir.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly condemned what he called as dastardly act.

“Pained beyond words on the dastardly attack on peaceful Amarnath Yatris in J&K. The attack deserves strongest condemnation from everyone”.

In a tweet Modi said that India will never get bogged down by such cowardly attacks & the evil designs of hate.

“My thoughts are with all those who lost their loved ones in the attack in J&K. My prayers with the injured”.

Modi also said that he spoke to Mehbooba Mufti and the state’s governor NN Vohra and assured to them all assistance requred.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti strongly condemned it and vowed to bring culprits to justice.

In a statement, Mehbooba said that it is an assault on “our values and tradition” and no stone will be left unturned to root out the perpetrators.

The Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti  has expressed deep shock and anguish over  the killing of Shri Amarnath Yatries in a militant attack in Anantnag this evening .

The Chief Minister said that yatries were esteemed guest of Kashmir and perpetrators of crime have done a death blow to the ethos and culture of the state .

Strongly condemning the attack Chief Minister said time has come for every right thinking Kashmiri to rise against this macabre menace before it devours everybody around. “It is a gruesome attack not only on unsuspecting guests but a brazen attack on Kashmir and Kashmiriyat and all of us shall have to rise against this scourge of violence sooner the better,” she said.

Chief Minister’s  has directed the state administration to provide all possible security to the yatries and also give quality treatment to the injured yatries

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah condemned the incident and said the attack on yatris tragic, terrible. His son, Omar Abdullah voiced the fears plaguing pilgrims this year.

Congress senior leader and former chief minister Gh Nabi Azad condemned the attack and called it as unforgivable act.

BJP senior leader and minister of state Dr Jitender Singh called it as an attack on India’s resilience and “attack on Kashmir culture”.

Meanwhile, reports said that soon after the attack, Indian home minister Rajnath Singh called Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and enquired about the attack.

A police spokesman in a statement issued to Kashmir Glory said: “Today evening terrorists initially attacked a police BP bunker at Botengoo. The fire was retaliated. There was no report of injuries. Thereafter the terrorists fired on a police naka near Khanabal”.

The fire was retaliated. A tourist bus was hit by bullets in which about 18 tourists were injured. Among them six person died while rest are being treated. The bus was on way to Jammu from Baltal and was not part of the convoy, the spokesman said.