“THE WAY Kashmiris have stood together and expressed their sentiments on the attack on Amarnath yatris is a clear sign that they do not endorse such a reprehensible act. It showed that even the people are not with the terrorists now,” said Minister of State for Home Hansraj G Ahir on Wednesday.
His comments came a day after Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that all sections in Kashmir had condemned the attack, which “shows the spirit of Kashmiriyat is very much alive”. Responding to a tweet, Singh added that “all Kashmiris are not terrorists”. Ahir led a central ministerial team’s visit to the Valley on Tuesday. Speaking to The Indian Express on his return from Srinagar, he said: “Attacking unarmed pilgrims, and that too mostly women, is a cowardly act”.
He also lauded J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and the security forces for the manner in which they took care of the injured and spoke in one voice.
“She (Mehbooba) has handled the situation very well. She met the injured and spoke to them. The whole country has been inspired by this. The nation saw how a chief minister fulfilled her responsibility,” he said.
Before heading to Delhi on Wednesday morning, Ahir made a short visit to a camp for pilgrims, on the way to Baltal. “The attack has not been able to deter them. There was a lot of enthusiasm among the pilgrims when I met them. They have no fear as they have seen the security measures,” he said.
Ahir, the MoS in-charge of Kashmir, is set to brief Rajnath Singh on his visit. He said the Prime Minister and Home Minister had asked him to accompany MoS (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh to the Valley.
Speaking on his visit, he said: “We also met the Governor and senior members of the security establishment. An in-depth security review meeting was held with the officers of Army, police, CRPF, BSF and other security agencies.”
A number of issues were discussed, he said, including the question of whether to increase security for the yatra or not.
“The government is very serious about the Amarnath yatra’s security. The shadow of terror has been there since the last 30 years. The state police and all other forces have made proper arrangements. We did not notice any glaring security lapses. I want to assure that the security will be better in future,” he said.