Seven Amarnath pilgrims were killed on Monday night after terrorists attacked a bus in Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Those killed include six women, and 19 others have been injured. Five of those who lost their lives in the attack belong to Gujarat and two were from Maharashtra. The deceased from Gujarat have been identified as Hasuben Ratila Patal, Surakha Ben and Lakshimiben S Patal from Valsad, Ratan Zeena Bhai Patal of Daman and Prajapati Champaben of Navsari. Those from Maharashtra were Nirmala Ben Thakor, a resident of Palghar, and Usha Mohanla Sonkar of Danu.

The terrorists attacked the bus bearing the registration number GJ09Z 9976 around 8.20 pm near Khanabal while it was on its way to from Srinagar Jammu. The victims were said to have performed the yatra two days ago and were being moved to Srinagar when this attack took place.

Before striking a blow at the bus, the terrorists first attacked a bullet-proof bunker of the police at Botengoo, which the security officials retaliated. No injuries were reported in that attack. Thereafter the terrorists fired on a police picket near Khannabal. When the police retaliated, the terrorists fled, firing indiscriminately on the bus which was carrying the yatris.

The attack on the yatris is being touted as the worst attack on the annual pilgrimage since the year 2001. The last time the Amarnath yatra was targeted was in 2001 when terrorists had struck in the Sheshnag area close to the holy cave of Amarnath in which 13 people were killed. Terrorists had also attacked Amarnath pilgrims on August 1, 2000 in Pahalgam area leaving 30 people dead.

What is also being noted is that police claims that the bus was not a part of the yatra convoy which is being provided elaborate security.

An injured woman being treated at a hospital in Anantnag (Photo: PTI)

An injured woman being treated at a hospital in Anantnag (Photo: PTI)

Injured being treated in a hospital after militants opened fire (Photo: PTI)

Injured being treated in a hospital after militants opened fire (Photo: PTI)

Security person stand guard after militants opened fire on the Amarnath Yatra (Photo: PTI)

Security person stand guard after militants opened fire on the Amarnath Yatra (Photo: PTI)

The attack is being investigated by the Jammu and Kashmir Police. Police said that the yatra is going on and they are enuring that it goes on peacefully.

Condemning the attack, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said the incident is a “blot on all Muslims and Kashmiris”. While visiting the injured in a hospital in Anantnag, she said the head of every Kashmiri hangs in shame over the incident. “Pilgrims come to Kashmir every year for the yatra despite all the difficulties. And seven people died. I have no words to condemn it. I hope the security forces and the Jammu and Kashmir police arrest the perpetrators forthwith and take stern action against them,” the Chief Minister said.

A high-level meeting will be taking place at 9:45 am at Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s residence over attack on Amarnath Yatra pilgrims in J&K.

Meanwhile, the yatra has not been halted and a fresh batch of 3289 Amarnath pilgrims left in a convoy of 105 vehicles from the Yatri Niwas base in Jammu for the cave shrine early on Tuesday morning.

For interesting news videos from InUth, follow us on Youtube.com/InUthdotcom