President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday expressed his condolences over the loss of lives in the wake of Amarnath Yatra attack on Monday evening. In a post on Twitter, the President condemned the attack on pilgrims. “Strongly condemn attack on Amarnath Yatris in J&K; grieve the loss of innocent lives,” President Mukherjee said. At least seven people died including five women, while 30 others were injured after a group of militants attacked a bus carrying pilgrims at Botengo village near Anantnag district on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway in South Kashmir at around 8.10 pm.
Opposition Presidential candidate Meira Kumar also took to social media to express her condolences. In a Twitter post, the former Lok Sabha speaker said, “Deeply saddened at the loss of innocent lives. My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved family members and those injured.”
The militants targeted a police bullet-proof bunker at Botengo, after which they attacked a police picket near Khannabal. After police started retaliatory firing, the militants reportedly fled firing during which the bus carrying the yatris was hit. Majority of the victims in the bus were from Gujarat. The attack has been received massive criticism from all corners. NDA Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind also strongly condemned the attack and called it “a cowardly act”, news agency ANI reported.
Meanwhile, over 3000 pilgrims, carried on with their journey on Tuesday. The pilgrims, left Jammu for the darshan of ice-lingam in South Kashmir Himalayas, undeterred by the terrorist attack.