The Jammu and Kashmir government has called an emergency cabinet meet over the last night attack in Anantnag that left seven Amarnath pilgrims dead and nineteen injured.
Sources said that the meeting is being chaired by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti at 1pm in Srinagar today
On Monday night, seven pilgrims — six women, one man — were killed and 19 others injured when an unescorted bus carrying pilgrims from Gujarat was caught in cross-fire at Khanabal, Anantnag district on the Srinagar-Jammu highway.
The victims were travelling in the bus which was neither part of the escorted yatra convoy nor registered with the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).
“The attack occurred at 8.20 p.m. All yatra movement which is protected by the security forces on the highway stops at 7 p.m. after which no movement of pilgrims is officially allowed,” said a senior police officer.
The ill-fated pilgrims had performed the yatra and had boarded the bus at Baltal base camp in Ganderbal district.
The officer said the militants first attacked a police bullet proof bunker at Khanabal and later a police check point.
“After retaliation from the police, the militants started firing indiscriminately. The bus of pilgrims, according to police, was caught in the ambush,” a police spokesman said.