Undeterred by the attack on Amarnath pilgrims, hundreds of devotees today set off for the cave shrine amid stepped-up security measures. Chanting ‘Bam Bam Bhole’, the pilgrims set for the arduous trek from both the traditional Pahalgam and shorter Baltal routes early this morning, an official of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) said. “The yatra is progressing smoothly and the terror attack has not dampened the spirits of the pilgrims,” the official said. The exact number of pilgrims who embarked on the yatra this morning is not known yet.
Seven Amarnath pilgrims were killed and 19 others were injured in a terrorist attack in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district last night. The bus, bearing Gujarat registration number, was on way from Baltal to Jammu when the attack took place. However, the bus was not part of the Amarnath yatra convoy and was plying after the 7 pm deadline imposed by the security officials on the movement of the yatra vehicles.
Meanwhile, the security has been beefed up along all routes leading to the Pahalgam and Baltal base camps in Anantnag and Ganderbal districts respectively. Additional police and paramilitary personnel have been deployed en route to the holy cave shrine to prevent repeat of any such incident, a police official said. He said investigations have been launched into the attack and few people have been detained for questioning.