On June 28th Indian intelligence had received possible threats of an impending attack. "Intelligence Input received From SSP Anantnag Reveals that terrorists have been directed to eliminate 100 To 150 pilgrims and about 100 Police officers and officials."
According To a letter sent by Inspector General Of Police (Kashmir Zone) Muneer Khan to the army, the CRPF, and range DIG's in the state. "The input is assessed to be a Humint (Human Intelligence) and it needs further corroboration," The IGP said in the letter.
At this Stage, the possibility of a sensational attack by a terrorist outfit cannot Be Ruled Out, He Said. "The Attack May be In the form of stand-off fire on Yatra Convoy which they believe will result in flaring of communal tensions throughout the nation," The IGP said in the letter which Is being circulated in many groups on whatsapp.
All the officers and officials deployed on the ground need to remain alert and maintain utmost vigil, he added In The letter whose copy got leaked and went viral on social media. Khan Later tried to play it down, Saying there was no need to panic as It was part of the information being shared with agencies to check its authenticity. Jammu And Kashmir DGP S P Vaid said someone has spread it on social media to create panic. (Ndtv)
What had happened?
On Monday night, seven pilgrims -- six women, one man -- were killed and 19 others injured when militants attacked an unescorted bus from Gujarat at Khanabal, Anantnag district on the Srinagar-Jammu highway.
The victims were travelling in the bus which was neither part of the escorted yatra convoy nor registered with the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).
"The attack occurred at 8.20 p.m. All yatra movement which is protected by the security forces on the highway stops at 7 p.m. after which no movement of pilgrims is officially allowed," said a senior police officer.
The ill-fated pilgrims had performed the yatra and had boarded the bus at north Kashmir's Baltal base camp.
The officer said the militants first attacked a police bullet proof bunker at Khanabal and later a police check point.
"After retaliation from the police, the militants started firing indiscriminately. The bus of pilgrims, according to police, was caught the ambush," a police spokesman said.
Tweet by The Quint: Terrorist attack on Amarnath yatra is the most reprehensible act: Defence Minister Arun Jaitley https://t.co/sWP1YNn2Je - on Mon Jul 10 17:35:59
Political condolences and blame game
Union Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday condemned the Amarnath terror attack in which seven pilgrims were killed and 15 others injured in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district, and also called for 'elimination of terrorism'.
"This incident should add to our determination to eliminate terrorism. Terrorist attack on #AmarnathYatra is the most reprehensible act. My condolences to the bereaved families," he said on Twitter.
The incident was also condemned by other political leaders including Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Digvijaya Singh, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and others. (news.webindia123.com)
Rahul Gandhi held Prime Minister Narendra Modi responsible for the 'grave unacceptable security lapse.'
"This is a grave unacceptable security lapse. The PM needs to accept responsibility and never allow it to happen again," he tweeted. (news.webindia123.com)
BJP chief Amit Shah also expressed grief over the incident and dubbed it as heinous act.
"Cowards responsible for this barbaric act will not be spared. I have spoken to the BJP District President and MLC from Anantnag and asked our karyakartas in Kashmir to help the pilgrims in need," he added.
Separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also condemned the incident and said the pilgrims have and will always be respected guests.
Earlier, Prime Minister Modi also took to Twitter to condemn the attack. (news.webindia123.com)
The Prime Minister said, "India will never get bogged down by such cowardly attacks & the evil designs of hate."
"Pained beyond words on the dastardly attack on peaceful Amarnath Yatris in J&K. The attack deserves strongest condemnation from everyone," he tweeted.
Prime Minister Modi further said that he spoke to Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and has assured all possible assistance. (news.webindia123.com)
Nothing can stop the pilgrims
A fresh batch of 3,289 Amarnath pilgrims left Jammu for the Kashmir Valley on Tuesday despite a terror attack the previous day on a bus which left seven worshippers dead.
"A fresh batch of 3,289 yatris left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in an escorted convoy of 185 vehicles around 3 a.m., on Tuesday for the Valley", officials said here.
The last known terror attack on the Amarnath Yatra was the killing of 30 persons, mostly pilgrims, in the base camp in Pahalgam in 2000.
The 40-day long yatra started on June 29 and will end on August 7.
So far, nearly 1.40 lakh pilgrims have reached the cave shrine located at 3,888 metres above sea-level.