Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir), July 11, 2017 - On 10th July evening Terrorists struck Shri Amarnath Yatra killing seven pilgrims mostly form Gujarat and injured 32 others, while they were travelling in a bus through Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
The bus bearing the registration number GJ09Z 9976 came under attack at around 8.20 pm near Khanabal, Anantnag, J&K while on its way to Jammu.
J&K Police said that the bus was not a part of the Shri Amarnath Yatra convoy which is being provided elaborate security. Jammu & Kashmir Police and top Government sources said that no Yatra vehicle is allowed on the highway after 7 pm as the security cover is withdrawn after that. The bus was not supposed to travel after dark because of heavy security restrictions around the annual Shri Amarnath Yatra, say officials, but it was apparently delayed because of flat tyre.
There were five terrorists who opened fire on the bus carrying Shri Amarnath pilgrims. They came on two motorcycles and chased the bus at two points before escaping. According to the sequence of events narrated by the police and intelligence agencies, the bus was first attacked near a petrol pump less than two km from where it had broken down. When driver heard firing on the right side of the bus, he kept moving to an auto workshop 75 metres ahead. The bus was attacked again near a police check-post a few hundred metres away. The driver didn't stop until he spotted an army camp, saving the lives of many passengers.
The Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti expressed deep shock and anguish over the militant attack on Shri Amarnath Yatries. 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 J&K state.
Strongly condemning the attack Chief Minister said that 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, Mehbooba Mufti, alongwith the Works Minister and the Divisional administration, camped with the stranded Yatris throughout night and supervised necessary help to pilgrims and reassured them.
The Chief Minister herself supervised the rescue and relief operations throughout the night at Anantnag in Jammu & Kashmir. She visited the injured and stranded Shri Amarnath Yatris and assured them all help from the State Government.
Governor J&K, N.N. Vohra, Chairman of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) had a midnight review meeting in which all security aspects of the Yatra were reviewed.
The Heli-services from Pahalgam and Neelgrath are operating normally as the weather is clear. Governor directed CEO, SASB to ensure that twice a day review meetings are held during the entire period of Shri Amarnath Yatra.
List of dead (as provided by the administration) - Surakha Ben R/o Udwada RS Near Bhagini Samaj School District Valsad Gujarat, Patal Lakshimiben S R/o Valsad District Valsad Gujarat, Hasuben Ratila Patal R/o Vadoli School Faliya, Valsad Gujarat, Thakor Nirmala Ben W/o Bharat Thakor R/o Dhanu District Palghar Maharashtra, Usha Mohanla Sonkar W/o Mohan Moti Ram Sonkar R/o Danu District Valgad Maharastra, Ratan Zeena Bhai Patal S/o Zina Bhai R/o Daman Kunta District Daman Gujarat and Praja Pati Champaben W/o Raman Bhai R/o Gandevi District Navsari Gujarat.