Condemning the dastardly terror attack that killed seven Amarnath pilgrims in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday evening, Amnesty International India has said it shows “utter contempt for human life and the fundamental principles of humanity.” “Shooting at a bus carrying ordinary people on a pilgrimage shows utter contempt for human life and the fundamental principles of humanity. Those behind this horrific assault should be found and punished,” said Aakar Patel, Executive Director at Amnesty International India.
The human rights organisation also called upon Jammu and Kashmir authorities to ensure the safety of all civilians while upholding human rights law and standards. “The Jammu and Kashmir authorities must protect all civilians and ensure that they are not put in danger, while upholding human rights law and standards. They must guard against any attacks, including reprisal attacks, which could lead to more civilian casualties,” he added.
Five women were among seven people who were killed when militants attacked a bus carrying at least 56 passengers at Botengo village near Anantnag. According to reports, most of the victims are from Gujarat. The attack took place near a security camp on the national highway at 8.10 pm. According to a J&K Police spokesman, militants first launched an attack on a police bunker at Botengo. “There was retaliatory fire. No injuries were reported. The militants then opened fire at a police naka at Khanabal, and the police returned fire again,” said the spokesman.
“A tourist bus was hit by bullets, and about 18 were injured. Six of them died, while the others are undergoing treatment,” said the spokesman. He also said the bus carried a Gujarat numberplate and was on its way from Baltal to Jammu, and was not part of the yatra convoy.
In the wake of attacks, the Jammu and Kashmir government has announced Rs 6 lakh as compensation for the kin of each pilgrims killed in the terror attack, while Rs 2 lakh for those injured. Reacting to the incident, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said the terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims has shaken the edifice of Kashmiri ethos and described it as a “blot on on all Muslims and Kashmiris”.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has reviewed the security situation in the violence-hit state and ordered enhanced security for pilgrims visiting Amarnath cave shrine. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had strongly condemned the attack and insisted that India will never get bogged down by such cowardly attacks and evil designs of hate.”Pained beyond words on the dastardly attack on peaceful Amarnath Yatris in J&K. The attack deserves strongest condemnation from everyone,” Modi had tweeted.