Details are still pouring in but what has been confirmed till now is that at least seven Amarnath yatris have been killed and at least twelve have been injured in a terror attack.
A police team that was guarding the convoy at Anantnag was attacked by militants. A bus carrying 17 pilgrims from Baltal to Meer Bazar in Batingu area, was also ambushed. Reports from the area said that the firing took place near Khanabal chowk.
It is being reported that three Special Operation Group (SOG) members were injured and another cop was also injured. Traffic has been stopped at the Srinagar Jammu highway.
“Some gunshots were heard on Jammu-Srinagar Highway near Batengoo. Yatris have been killed, four others sustained injuries,” a police source said.
Intelligence was abuzz with the possibility of a terror attack on the yatris. Even this Saturday, the Yatra was suspended as there was fear of a terror attack with the day being the death anniversary of terrorist Burhan Wani. Keeping in consideration the high-threat levels, authorities had mobilised intense security measures including satellite-tracking.
It is also being said that there were two separate terror attacks in the district. While two pilgrims were killed in an attack in Batingu area, five others were killed in another attack in Khanabal area.
The pilgrimage began on June 28 and over 1.34 lakh pilgrims have successfully made the pilgrimage. Lord Shiva’s cave shrine is located at a distance of 46 km from Pahalgam and 14 km from Baltal. The pilgrimage is scheduled to conclude on Shravan Purnima on August 7.
This dastardly terror attack reveals certain aspects. First, the terrorists want to create a fear in people’s minds who take up the pilgrimage so that they eventually stop. The second motive is to create an anti-government sentiment in the people. The terrorists see that the forces have been given a free hand to hunt and kill them, and they know they won’t last long. This is an anti-humane attempt to discredit the government and take revenge for their killings. The need of the hour is for people to stay united!