Attack on Amarnath pilgrims likely to deepen Hindu-Muslim divide in Kashmir

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Around 8:20 pm bus was attacked by the militants in Batengoo area of Anantnag, killing seven Amaranth worshipers and leaving 19 injured. But the Jammu and Kashmir police say they have intercepts that prove the Lashkar's role.

In a statement Jamaat the Secretary General Muhammad Salim Engineer said: "we are appalled by the manner in which pilgrims were gunned down while travelling in a bus and we condemn this act unequivocally".

On the way back, the bus left the security convoy and the pilgrims made a decision to leave for Srinagar on July 8.

The attack on Hindu pilgrims became a dominating topic of social media conversations.

The victims had been on a pilgrimage through the Himalayan valley, a long-disputed region on the border between India and Pakistan, returning after paying their respects at a Hindu shrine in Amarnath cave.

The terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims shows "utter contempt" for human life, Amnesty International on Tuesday said and called for those behind the attack to be found and punished.

In the wake of a terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims, the Delhi police has issued an advisory to its officers to step up security on routes being used by "kanwars" (devotees of Lord Shiva) to enter the national capital.

"Everyone has condemned this attack on innocent pilgrims". The government already informed that the attacked bus was moving without any security and it has not been registered with the Amarnath yatra shrine. "We are here on behalf of the Prime Minister", Singh added. According to information put together by the security establishment, Abu Ismail led the attack along with three to five other terrorists, some of them locals. "Nobody could kill Kashmiriyat, I salute our Kashmir people", said 58-year-old Ms Mufti. "Safety and security of the pilgrims will be ensured", he told reporters.

Militants battling Indian rule in Kashmir have largely spared the pilgrimage, even during the most violent phases of their 28-year armed revolt.

Maulana Madani further said that such kind of terrorist attacks has nothing to do with any religion and creed.

"Pakistan has been openly harbouring the terrorists of various organizations including LET for the last several decades and there has been a push to declare Pakistan as a Terror sponsoring nation in the US Congress", said its vice president Adapa Prasad.

Residents said they were afraid of a possible backlash by Hindu nationalists and Indian forces against Kashmiris elsewhere in India.

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