The Batengoo attack that led to the deaths of seven Yatris traveling on a bus after visiting the Amarnath shrine was the result of a security lapse, Dr Nirmal Singh, Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir told NDTV.
“This attack is a shock to the nation,” he said, hours after the state police attributed the attack to Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba. At least 20 people have been injured. The dead reportedly include 5 women.
The bus was fired at by suspected militants in Islamabad at 8:20 pm. The nearly 60 pilgrims on board were mainly from Gujarat; all victims are being flown in a special air force plane to Surat in Gujarat today. The bus they were using was not registered with the governing board that handles arrangements for the pilgrimage to the Himalayan shrine – that meant it was not part of the Amarnath convoy that travels with a heavy security cover. The bus was also moving down a highway at 7 pm in violation of rules, NDTV reported.
“Yes, definitely this is a big lapse. We have to enquire why the bus left at 5pm, why it was allowed after sunset. We were told there was a tyre burst and the driver took time to replace it,” the Deputy Chief Minister told NDTV.