On July 10 last year, 8 Amarnath pilgrims were killed and 19 others injured in a terror attack at Botengro in southern Anantnag district.
Srinagar: Extraordinary security and other logistic arrangements have been put in place for this year’s Amarnath yatra.
The two-month long pilgrimage to the 3,888-metre-high cave-shrine in Kashmir Himalayas for which more than two lakh pilgrims have already registered will officially beg-in on Thursday from both traditional Pahalgam and shorter Baltal routes.
Meanwhile, Hizbul Mujahideen, the frontline indigenous militants outfit, has termed as “baseless, misleading and mischievous” the claim of some security forces officials that militants might target the yatra.
“Amarnath yatra is not our target. They (pilgrims) come here to perform their religious rituals. They are our guests,” said Riyaz Naikoo, “field operational commander”, of the Hizb in an audio clip released on social media on Tuesday.
He added, “We have never attacked Amarnath yatra. We are not at war with the yatris, but with those who compelled us to pick up the gun. We are fighting for our rights and our freedom. Our fight is against the Indian state and not the people of India.”
On July 10 last year, eight Amarnath pilgrims were killed and 19 others injured in a terror attack at Botengro in southern Anantnag district.
The authorities had blamed the attack on Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) and later claimed killing the entire group involved in it, including commander Abu Ismael, in a series of operations that took place at various places in the Valley subsequently.
The LeT had denied its hand in the attack and in its counter charge blamed the Indian intelligence agencies for it.