Amarnath Yatra attack: Hours after the terror attack on a bus of pilgrims going for the Amarnath pilgrimage on Monday night a fresh batch of devotees have left the tourism department-run Yatri Niwas at Bhagwati Nagar in Jammu at 3 am on Tuesday. The chants of “Bum Bum Bholey and “Jai Shankar” rented the air. Hours later there is little sign of fear at the Amarnath reception centre among worshippers gathering for the next day’s journey to the cave shrine. A goldsmith from Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh after looking at the headline “Terrorist attack on Amarnath Yatris, 7 dead,” asked as per Indian Express report,”From what I have heard, the yatris who were attacked were not registered as pilgrims, and they were not part of the convoy. When the government is providing security, why should we take the risk of going by ourselves.” Santosh with a dozen of his friends all goldsmiths have checked into a large hall in the reception centre and will leave for Amarnath with about 3,000 others guarded by hundreds of security men in a convoy that will start departing at 2.30 am Wednesday morning. He said,”“Bhole baba bula rahein hain, toh hum jaa rahen hain. Unki ichcha hai (God is calling us, so we are going. It’s his wish). If he doesn’t want us to go, he will stop us.” Santosh added, Last year, he did not want us to visit him. We landed here the day the militant Burhan Wani was killed. We undertook a Darshan of Vaishno Mata and returned home.”
The air is filled with anxiety inside the centre. Devotional songs are being played from speakers, and langar is being served too. People from across the country are waiting in long queue to get registered. There are people from Bengal, Maharastra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh among the others.
Vijendra Warorkar, a government auditor said,”We read about the attack on our phones when were on the Delhi-Jammu train last night. After that, we had almost made up our minds to return home. We had booked a private cab to pick us up from the station and take us straight to Pahalgam. But when we arrived in Jammu this morning, we thought we would check at this base camp, and we found that this was a safer option, so we cancelled the private cab.”
These pilgrims, who left from Jammu on Tuesday morning, reached Pahalgam and Baltal by noon under intensified security cover from the CRPF and state police. From Pahalgam, 18,838 pilgrims began the trek to the shrine and 5,556 pilgrims left from Baltal.