Amarnath yatra attack: Seven Amarnath pilgrims were killed in a deadly attack reportedly masterminded by Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Abu Ismail. It has been learned that the bus, which was carrying the pilgrims, was attacked twice in brief period of time. Jammu and Kashmir police, which had lauched a probe into the issue, have submitted preliminary report to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)., according to Indian Express report. In the report, it was noted that unidentified gunmen first attacked the bus at 8.17 pm, near Habba Khaton petrol pump near Habba Khaton petrol pump. The bus, which was returning from Amarnath, the cave shrine of Lord Shiva, located in the Himalayas at an altitude of 12,756 feet, to Jammu, was attacked for the second time in quick session, the IE report says.
The bus driver, Saleem kept driving till he reached Khannabal, where he spotted a police party and halted the vehicle, an MHA official was quoted as saying by IE. It has been learned that the bus had suffered maximum damage on the right, so passengers sitting on this side received serious injuries, the report says. The vehicle was plying with the flat tyre. After realising this, the driver got it fixed and started towards Jammu at 4.40 pm. They stayed in the area for nearly two hours, the Jammu and Kashmir police report says, as per IE.
The police had earlier said that the bus driver had violated rules for the pilgrimage. The rules state no yatra vehicle should be on the highway after 7 pm as the security cover is withdrawn after that. They also said that the vehicle were not registered with the shrine board.
Notably, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat rushed to Kashmir yesterday to review the security in the valley following the deadly terrorist attack on the pilgrims’ bus. He had also chaired a security review meeting in Srinagar which was attended by top Army officials, Director General of S P Vaid and Chief Secretary B B Vyas, an Army spokesman was quoted as saying by PTI. The Army chief exhorted the commanders and troops to keep up the pressure on the terrorists, the spokesman added, the report said.
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The Amarnath yatra 2017 had started on June 29 and will conclude on August 7. As many as 21,000 paramilitary personnel in addition to state police forces have been deployed for security of the pilgrimage routes. The number of paramilitary personnel deployed this year is 9,500 more than last year, PTI report says.