THE ATTACK on Monday came even as extra security was provided for the Amarnath Yatra this year. But, sources said, the bus and its passengers had not followed a single security advisory issued by the Jammu and Kashmir Police and the CRPF.
“These yatris had not registered themselves, as is advised, and did not even become part of the yatra convoy, which is escorted by security forces, both to and from Amarnath, everyday. They also violated the 7 pm curfew on movement of yatris,” said CRPF DG R R Bhatnagar.
“This time, we had deployed more forces and made extra arrangements for their security. It can become very difficult to protect the yatris if they do not follow security advisories,” he said.
CRPF sources in Kashmir said that according to the advisory, yatris are supposed to register themselves and become part of the yatra convoy. This convoy is protected by security forces and led by a road-opening party. Movement is not allowed after 7 pm.
“The information we have is that these yatris visited Amarnath shrine two days ago and started for Jammu today. The information is yet to be verified. Why they decided to move after 7 pm needs to be investigated,” said a CRPF officer from Kashmir.
Meanwhile, Sanjay Patel of Umiya travels, the original owner of the bus, who is based in Idar, Sabarkantha, said he had sold the bus to Jawahar Desai of Om Travels in Valsad. But since the payment was yet to be made, the paper work was yet to be done.
“I obtained the permit for the tour (July 2-23) since I still own the bus, but the tour was organised by Jawaharbhai and his son Harsh,” Patel told The Indian Express.
Asked why the bus was not part of the yatra convoy, Patel said: “The bus was registered with the Amarnath Yatra board. I have no other detail.” He said he had not been able to contact Jawahar Desai.