Seventeen Amarnath pilgrims were killed and 29 injured after a bus skidded off the Jammu-Srinagar national highway and rolled down into a deep nallah in the Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday.
Soon after the accident, about a dozen lives of Amarnath Yatra pilgrims were saved by the local Muslims of the Banihal area. According to a NDTV report, activists from an NGO – ‘WE FOR U’ rushed to the spot and started the rescue operations.
In order to inform the other activists to reach and help in the rescue operation, they made a WhatsApp group. According to the report published in India Today, Amir Wani was the first NGO activist to reach the spot.
The report suggested that the rescue team was headed by activist, Ilyas Banihali. He also met the Chairman of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board and the Governor of the State, NN Vohra.
During the meeting, he informed that despite several requests, district administration did not supply the equipment required for rescue operations. After listening to Banihali, the Governor assured them that the board will provide Rs 5 lakh for the equipment.
Following the accident, some people took to Facebook and shared the story of Muslims helping the injured people. The photo was posted by a Jammu and Kashmir based journalist and it has gone viral.
Here’s how people reacted to the post:
Meanwhile, The deceased, including two women, belonged to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Assam, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh, they said. Sixteen of the injured persons are critical.
The bus of Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation (JKSRTC) was part of the convoy of vehicles carrying 3,603 pilgrims from Jammu to twin base camps of Baltal and Pahalgam of pilgrimage to cave shrine of Amarnath in South Kashmir Himalayas.
Video Courtesy: YouTube
Defence minister Arun Jaitley, home minister Rajnath Singh, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed condolences at the loss of lives.
This is the second major tragedy to affect the Amarnath yatris this year. Earlier, on 10 July, militants attacked a bus carrying pilgrims in which eight persons lost their lives.