Amarnath Yatra attack: A Delhi-registered car drives through the valley and is playing “Very bad baby” at a volume that could reach Vaishno Devi. As they wait for the convoy of 150 vehicles carrying over 3,000 people to move, the all-male pilgrims step out of the car to dance to the beats. The convoy comprises of CRPF, J&K Police, and Army. A group of five friends from Tilak Nagar has driven down to visit the cave shrine and they say that they have done this yatra every year since 2007. Mohit the person driving the car while talking to Indian Express said,”The first time was in 2007 when we didn’t know anything about the yatra. And this time, we have joined the convoy only because our family members were insistent.” The journey to the holy place takes 16-hours, driving through the tunnels and passing the crowded towns and cities of Kashmir. There are two base camps in Kashmir and the real Yatra starts from one of the two with a demanding 13,000-ft climb to the cave shrine. But for the
But for the pilgrims, the pilgrimage is one of an integral part of the journey and they are excited about it. The chants of “Bum Bum Bholey and “Jai Shankar” rents the air. On Wednesday at 2 am the engines roared and the vehicles were lined up at the Jammu tourism corporation-run Yatri Niwas, all posted wth yellow security clearance stickers. Vehicles going to the Pahalgam base camp had “P” stickers on their windshields and those going to Baltal were marked “B”.
Last year Mohit and his friends returned home just before the Valley erupted over militant Burhan Wani’s killing. While talking to IE his friend Sunil said,“This time, we were initially eight. But three dropped out because of the killings two days ago.”
Meanwhile, the Trump administration yesterday strongly condemned the “cowardly” terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims in Kashmir and vowed that the US and India will together continue to fight terror threats in “every part of the world”. Seven Amarnath pilgrims were killed and 19 others injured in the terrorist attack in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Monday night. “The United States and India will continue to fight together against terrorist threats in every part of the world,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement issued two days after the attack. The United States “strongly condemns the cowardly terrorist attack” on religious pilgrims in the state of Jammu and Kashmir on July 10, he said. “We extend condolences to the victims’ families and the people of India. An attack on religious freedom is an attack on the most fundamental right of liberty,” Spicer said.