Politics

Saifuddin Soz, Civil Groups Condemn Terror Attack on Amarnath Pilgrims

Seven pilgrims were killed and at least 32 people were injured when the bus they were traveling in was fired at.

Seven Amarnath pilgrims were killed in the attack in Anantnag. Credit: PTI

Seven Amarnath pilgrims were killed in the attack in Anantnag. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Former Union minister Saifuddin Soz, the Concerned Citizens Group and Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (IMSD) have condemned the terror attack on Amarnath Yatra pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag last evening.

Seven pilgrims on the Amarnath Yatra, six of whom were women, were killed and at least 32 people were injured when the bus they were traveling in was fired on.

“The killing of several Amarnath Yatris by the marauders, the other day at Anantnag, constitutes a heinous crime against humanity. This barbaric act is against the very grain of the Kashmir’s ethos (Kashmiriyat) and I strongly condemn it. In fact, words fail me to express my grief adequately,” Soz said.

In his statement, Soz also commended the state police and said, “I would urge the J&K police to rise to the occasion and bring the remorseless and senseless killers to justice immediately”.

Expressing its “deepest condolences to the bereaved families,” the Concerned Citizens Group said in a statement that “the terrorists who have indulged in this dastardly act have completely misread the mood of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of India”.

Singed by Yashwant Sinha, Wajahat Habibullah, Kapil Kak, Manish Tewari, Badri Raina, Sushobha Barve, Aroona Roy, Bharat Bhushan and other members, the statement goes on to say: “We are not going to be cowed down by such acts of cowardice which only strengthens their resolve to find resolution of issues, however complicated, through peaceful means and through the democratic process of dialogue”.

“Violence can never be justified as a method of resolving such issues. We once again call upon those who believe in violence as a tool either in Jammu and Kashmir or across it to abandon this perilous path, abjure violence and militancy and stop taking innocent lives. We also call upon the governments of Jammu and Kashmir and India to take whatever steps necessary to ensure that there is no recurrence of such incidents in future,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, in its statement, the IMSD said the attack raised disturbing questions in light of the CRPF director general’s disclosure comment that the bus and passengers had disregarded security advisories. “The yatris did not register themselves for the pilgrimage, the bus was not part of any convoy with security cover and the 7 pm curfew for travel of Amarnath yatris was ignored.”

“The attack on the innocent pilgrims is as reprehensible as the recent targeting of local Hindus by Muslim mobs in Baduria village in West Bengal, or the repeated targeting of Muslims in different parts of the country by Hindutva’s lynch mobs masquerading as gau rakshaks. The contexts and the methods employed by the murderers may be different but the motive remains the same: ‘hurt religious sentiments’ is the pretext; creating communal discord between Hindus and Muslims is the aim,” the IMSD said.