7 Amarnath pilgrims killed in terror attack
Seven Hindu pilgrims have died in a firefight between militants and police in Kashmir during a highly sensitive religious procession.
It was the deadliest assault on Hindu pilgrims in the majority-Muslim region since 2000, and comes amid heightened religious tensions across northern India and another summer of violence in Kashmir.
- “A mini-bus (GJ09Z9976) carrying Amarnath pilgrims got hit in the militant fire,” said the police official.
- The deceased pilgrims belonged to Gujarat and were returning after visiting the cave shrine.
- The mini-bus was proceeding from Jammu to Srinagar.
- An official said it was not registered with the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board as all buses ferrying pilgrims must be and was travelling against the advisory not to ply after sunset.
- “These terrorists are the enemies of Kashmir & Kashmiriyat. Every right-thinking Kashmiri must today condemn the killing of the Amarnath yatris and say, unequivocally – this is #NotInMyName,” wrote former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Twitter.
- CRPF is one of the main security forces deployed along the 40-day annual Yatra.
- Amarnath cave is a Hindu shrine located in Jammu and Kashmir.
- The cave is surrounded by snowy mountains and is itself covered with snow most of the year except for a short period of time in summer when it is open for pilgrims.
- Thousands of Hindu devotees make an annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave on challenging mountainous terrain to see an ice stalagmite formed inside the cave, revered as Shiva linga.
- According to a Hindu legend, this is the cave where Shiva explained the secret of life and eternity to his divine consort, Parvati.
Modi gave no indication of who was responsible, he claimed that
India will never get bogged down by such cowardly attacks & the evil designs of hate.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 10, 2017
In 2000, the nation blamed the deaths of Hindu pilgrims on Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based militant group.