Violence hits Valley again: 7 Amarnath pilgrims killed in terror strike
Violence returned to the Amarnath Yatra as terrorists gunned down seven pilgrims in Anantnag, making the already strained situation in Kashmir in even more complex.
The killings drew condemnation from the entire political spectrum, as well as the social media.
"Pained beyond words on the dastardly attack on peaceful Amarnath Yatris in J&K, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi," said Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"India will never get bogged down by such cowardly attacks and the evil designs of hate," he added. My thoughts are with all those who lost their loved ones in the attack in J&K. My prayers with the injured," he tweeted.
Modi said he has spoken to Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and assured all assistance.
Mufti too condemned the incident.
Five of those killed were women, Press Trust of India reported quoting the police. The deceased were from Gujarat, the agency said citing sources.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh also called up Mufti and Vohra over the attack on the pigrims and sought details. He also directed officials to ensure foolproof security for the Yatra in the future.
Calling the attack as most reprehensible, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said the incident should add to "our determination to eliminate terrorism".
Former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah condemned the incident in a series of tweets and said a possibility of backlash on Kashmiris elsewhere couldn't be ruled out.
Very sad news. The attack cannot be condemned strongly enough. My sympathies to the families & prayers for the injured.— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) July 10, 2017
Every right thinking Kashmiri must today condemn the killing of the Amarnath yatris and say, unequivocally - this is #NotInMyName— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) July 10, 2017
Request @rajnathsingh ji to instruct all state Govt & other authorities to be extra vigilant in colleges/Universities where Kashmiris study.— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) July 10, 2017
Also where people from Kashmir are residing for reasons of trade/livelihood in other states. Possibility of backlash can't be ignored.— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) July 10, 2017