BREAKING: Massive TERROR ATTACK…”One Of The Worst”

Dean James III% AMERICA’S FREEDOM FIGHTERS –

INDIA — Seven pilgrims on the Amarnath Yatra – six of them women – were killed on Monday in a terror attack in Anantnag at about 8:30 pm. At least 19 people were injured in what is being called one the worst terror strikes in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

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*I have included some information of what the Amarnath Yatra is at the bottom of this article. It’s really quite amazing! 

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Terrorists opened fire on a bus with the pilgrims who were returning after visiting the holy shrine that is located in a narrow gorge at the end of a valley nearly 50 km from Pahalgam.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said in a statement: “This is an assault on our values and traditions which we hold dear. We will leave no stone unturned to root out the perpetrators of this heinous crime.” She visited the injured at a hospital in Anantnag.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Pained beyond words on the dastardly attack on peaceful Amarnath Yatris in J&K. The attack deserves strongest condemnation from everyone… India will never get bogged down by such cowardly attacks and the evil designs of hate.”

The bus that was fired on was registered in Gujarat. Police sources said that it had violated the rules of the pilgrimage which bans buses from travelling on a highway after 7 pm for security reasons. Ms Mufti said the bus had apparently broken down, delaying their return.

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The bus was also reportedly not part of the official tour for the Yatra which means that it was not given the customary police protection.

The Press Trust of India said the terrorists – it is not clear how many there were – first opened fire an armoured police car whose occupants fired back. The pilgrims were then hit as the terrorists fired indiscriminately, the news agency said.

“We were sleeping when the firing started from both the sides. We don’t know how many people were there,” said a passenger.

Before that, the same terrorists had reportedly opened fire on a security checkpoint just 300 miles from where the bus was attacked.

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The Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Police have told the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) that the bus was attacked twice, in quick succession.

In a preliminary report to the MHA, the J&K Police have said that “unknown gunmen” first opened fire at the bus at 8.17 pm, near Habba Khaton petrol pump, while it was returning from Amarnath to Jammu.

“The bus driver, Saleem, sped past, but there was a second attack about 75 metres away from the first spot. He kept driving till he reached Khannabal, where he spotted a police party and halted the vehicle. They were taken to Anantnag police lines where the injured were treated,” said an MHA official, quoting the J&K Police report.

According to the report, the bus suffered maximum damage on the right, so passengers sitting on this side received serious injuries.

On Monday night, security officials had said that the militants first attacked a police bunker at Batengoo, and then a police naka at Khanabal. In both cases, they said, the police had returned fire.

“The information gathered yesterday was preliminary, and one has to go by what the state police say because they are the ones investigating. There was an attempt on one of our camps, Arwani, located near the attack site. We are investigating the matter,” said CRPF DG R R Bhatnagar today.

“The group visited the shrine on July 8 and since they were not registered with the shrine board, they did not follow the security protocol… The bus reached Pantha Chowk on July 10, where the driver realized that one of the tire was flat. After getting it fixed, the pilgrims started towards Jammu at 4.40 pm. They stayed in the area for nearly two hours,” says the J&K Police report.

“The investigation is still in its early stage. We will unveil the attackers,’’ said a senior police officer.

Here is a little information on the Amarnath Temple:

Amarnath cave is a Hindu shrine located in Jammu and Kashmir, India. The cave is situated at an altitude of 3,888 m (12,756 ft), about 141 km (88 mi) from Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir and reached through Pahalgam town. The shrine forms an important part of Hinduism, and is considered to be one of the holiest shrines in Hinduism. The cave is surrounded by snowy mountains. The cave itself is covered with snow most of the year except for a short period of time in summer when it is open for pilgrims. Hundreds of thousands of Hindu devotees make an annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave on challenging mountainous terrain to see an ice stalagmite formed inside the cave.

Discovery of Holy Cave

According to legend, Bhrigu Muni was the first to have discovered Amarnath. Long time ago it is believed that The Vale of Kashmir was submerged under water and Kashyapa Muni drained it through a series of rivers and rivulets. Therefore, when the waters drained, Bhrigu Muni was the first to have Darshan of Lord Amarnath. Thereafter, when people heard of the Lingam, it became an abode of Lord Bholenath for all believers and a pilgrimage which is done by lakhs of people each year. As we well know Francois Bernier, a French physician accompanied Emperor Aurangzeb during his visit to Kashmir in 1663. In his book “Travels in Mughal Empire” he writes while giving an account the places he visited in Kashmir that he was “pursuing journey to a grotto full of wonderful congelations, two days journey from Sangsafed” when he “received intelligence that my Nawab felt very impatient and uneasy on account of my long absence”. The “grotto” he refers to is obviously the Amarnath cave as the editor of the second edition of the English translation of the book, Vincient A. Smith makes clear in his introduction. He writes: “The grotto full of wonderful congelations is the Amarnath cave, where blocks of ice, stalagmites formed by dripping water from the roof are worshipped by many Hindus who resort here as images of Shiva…..”

Yatra

Amarnath Yatra Camp.

The temple is a popular yatra destination for Hindus. In 2011 it received about 634,000 people, the highest recorded number for the site. The number was 622,000 in 2012 and 350,000 in 2013. Pilgrims visit the holy site during the 45-day season around the festival of Shravani Mela in July–August, coinciding with the Hindu holy month of Shraavana.

The beginning of the annual pilgrimage, called Amarnath Yatra is marked by ‘pratham pujan’ to invoke the blessings of Shri Amarnathji.

In olden days the route was via Rawalpindi (Pakistan) but now a direct train is there connecting rest of India to Jammu, the winter capital of the State. The best part of journey is between Guru Purnima and Shravan Purnima. The Government of Jammu and Kashmir makes all arrangements for the comfort of the pilgrims for undertaking the ritualistic journey for visiting the shrine on Shravan Purnama. But the highly unpredictable weather of the mountains should be more obliging before Guru Purnima as rains would not start. There is a bus service from Jammu to Pahalgam (7,500 ft.). At Pahalgam the pilgrims arrange for coolies or ponies to carry gear of food and clothes etc. Everybody remains busy making arrangements for the Yatra. The golden glow of, the sun falls on the turbulent river at Pahalgam. Pahalgam in Kashmiri means the land of shepherds.

Sources-

The Indian Express

NDTV

Wikipedia

God Bless.

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