Amarnath Yatra 2017 Attack: Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra has condemned the deadly attack on pilgrims and requested the central government to increase protection in disturbed areas for citizens going for pilgrimage. Vadra also urged countrymen to work towards fighting terrorism without giving a communal colour to it. Extending prayers to the families of the victims, he said that citizens of the country should stay united against those creating terror instead of playing blame games and instilling hatred.
Seven Amarnath yatra pilgrims, including 6 women, were killed and 19 others injured in a deadly terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday evening. Terrorists carried out an attack on a bus carrying 56 passengers at Botengo village near Anantnag, on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, according to reports. The attack on Amarnath yatra, second since August 2000, drew strong reactions from every section across India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sent a strong message saying India will never get bogged down by such cowardly attacks and the evil designs of hate. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that it was a brazen attack on Kashmir and Kashmiriyat. Five of those killed were from Gujarat and two from Maharashtra, as per reports. Meanwhile, it has been learned that the bus and its passengers had not followed the security advisory issued by the Jammu and Kashmir Police and the CRPF, according to Indian Express.
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Last month, intelligence reports had warned that terrorists would target the yatra to one of the most revered Hindu shrines, Amarnath. The yatra began on June 28 amid the highest- ever multi-tier security setup, as per PTI report. This is the second such attack on Amarnath pilgrims in the Valley since militancy first emerged in 1990, as per Indian Express report. On August 1, 2000, 17 pilgrims were among 25 people killed in a terrorist attack in Pahalgam, where one of the two base camps of the pilgrimage is situated. Two policemen and six villagers also died as two militants, who were killed in a subsequent encounter, lobbed grenades and resorted to indiscriminate firing. However, at the time, the state government claimed that the attack targeted security forces and was not exclusively aimed at pilgrims.