As news of the terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims spread, trade bodies and other organisations — such as VHP, Bajrang Dal, NC, Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Jammu Kashmir National Panthers Party — called for a bandh in Jammu on Tuesday. The Jammu-Kathua national highway was blocked late at night to protest against the killings in Anantnag.
Police have put up nakas along the national highway. Security en route the Vaishnodevi shrine was also stepped up. The yatra was going on as usual, but a high alert was sounded, sources said.
There was confusion at Amarnath Yatri Niwas in Bhagwati Nagar here over the movement of pilgrims. “We are yet to receive any information,” said an official at the yatri niwas in Jammu, which acts as the first base camp for pilgrims.
“The plan is to allow all yatra convoys to leave for the Valley under security of police and paramilitary personnel at 3 am as usual,’’ he said, adding that “any decision regarding suspension of yatra in view of today’s terror attack, if any, will be announced at that time’’.
Nearly 3,000 pilgrims are expected to leave the yatri niwas in a convoy under tight security cover during wee hours daily. They have to cross Jawahar tunnel by 3 pm so that they reach their respective destinations at Baltal or Pahalgam before sunset.
Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Rakesh Gupta appealed to people to observe complete a shutdown in memory of the Amarnath victims. The chamber called upon everyone to go for the yatra in large numbers to give a befitting reply to terrorists and send the message that Kashmir is an integral part of India, he said. He also appealed to people to maintain peace during the bandh.