Srinagar: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said he saluted the people of Kashmir for their unequivocal condemnation of the attack on Amarnath pilgrims in Anantnag district last evening.
“The people of Jammu and Kashmir kept the spirit of Kashmiriyat alive,” he added.
Seven Amarnath pilgrims were killed and nineteen injured on Monday evening after a suspected militant attack on the government forces in Batengoo, a village between Khanbal and Bejbehara, an area of Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir.
“I am pained at the loss of lives of Amarnath pilgrims. But I salute the people of Kashmir as all sections of society have condemned the attack. It shows the spirit of Kashmiriyat is very much alive,” he said while addressing the reporters in New Delhi.
“Every section of the society in Kashmir has condemned the unfortunate cowardice act of terror on the Amarnath pilgrims. I salute the people of the state,” Rajnath Singh further added.
Rajnath’s comments came after he chaired a high-level security meeting with top government officials, including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
“No one in Kashmir has praised the terror attack, this proves that Kashmiriyat is still alive there. This also boosts my morale to fight against such forces,” he said.
The government had earlier deployed more than 40,000 troops to protect the twin routes of the 40-day pilgrimage to the Himalayan shrine in south Kashmir.
Surveillance cameras, jammers, dog squads, bullet-proof bunkers, satellite tracking devices and other security gadgets are being used to maintain vigil in view of increased militancy-linked incidents and violence in Kashmir.
The base camps in Pahalgam and Baltal are in Anantnag and Ganderbal districts. Situated in a narrow gorge at the farther end of Lidder Valley, Amarnath shrine stands at 3,888 metres, 46km from Pahalgam and 14km from Baltal.