The terror attack on Amarnath yatris came as a shock to people throughout the country as this was more an incident of targeting the Hindu faith than merely a terror attack.
As news of the attack reached PMO, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called an emergency meeting at his office. He had with him NSA Ajit Doval, officials from Gujarat, J&K and four central ministers to decide on the future course of action.
Prime Minister Modi’s instructions were clear – evacuate the affected pilgrims, ensure that the injured get the best possible treatment, airlift the bodies of the dead to their home states and ensure that there were no incidents of backlash anywhere in the country. He wanted quick action.
Not only were the affected looked after, but even appropriate arrangements were made to prevent communal flare-ups in sensitive areas around the country.
That night, officials at PMO and the Gujarat government (because the targeted yatris were from Gujarat) went through a list of 30 communally sensitive spots in the state. Similar diligence was done for neighbouring states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Prime Minister Modi himself looked over the security arrangements in Gujarat.
Extra forces were deployed at important installations. Delhi was put on high alert and states where the Kanwar yatra is going on were also asked to be extremely careful.
NSA Doval himself supervised the rescue operations along with key officials of J&K, Gujarat, the PMO and the ministries of home, defence, health and external affairs. They stayed up till 3 am finalising logistics to airlift the injured.
“It was decided not to bring the bodies or the injured pilgrims to Delhi, but to send to Surat directly because the PM wanted best treatment is given to the injured people. And, he wanted them to be in the surroundings they would be the most comfortable in — their own state, amid their families,”said an official.
The injured were given free treatment at Surat’s Kiran Hospital. Prime Minister Modihad instructed that a team of expert doctors and ambulances be stationed at the Surat airport so that there be no delay.
The manner in which Prime Minister Modi went into details is evident from this statement of an official: “From getting the caskets ready to contacting the families who had lost their relatives in the tragedy, the PM was clear – he didn’t want the families to suffer more on any account.
“As soon as the details of the attack started trickling in around 8.30 pm, we started collating details from various agencies. For the rescue to start, the details had to be accurate and the PM was clear that all concerned departments were supposed to work together and work fast. From a collector in Baltal to doctors in Surat, and bureaucrats in South Block, everyone involved in the exercise was asked to be on toes.”
Compare this to how, for example, the Congress government reacted after the floods in Uttarakhand some years back. It took 3 to 4 days for the government to dispatch relief material which was only done when Rahul Gandhi had flagged off a truck containing relief materials.
Terrorists can’t be completely avoided as terrorists have the element of surprise in their favour. All that a government can do is ensure maximum security arrangements and to take effective and quick action if an attack does take place. The Narendra Modi government did both.
Source – https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/pm-modi-worked-round-the-clock-to-give-quick-relief-to-amarnath-pilgrims/articleshow/59673280.cms