Amarnath attack response shows no one can kill Kashmiriyat: CM
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday said the response of the people of the valley to the Amarnath terror attack proves that no one can kill Kashmiriyat.
"The attack on Amarnath pilgrims was an attack on our brotherhood and Kashmiriyat. It has been condemned unequivocally by people from all shades of opinion in Kashmir," Mehbooba said.
She said the way everyone condemned the attack and protested against it proves that "as much someone might try but they cannot kill Kashmiriyat".
Mehbooba said she is short of words to describe the attack on the innocent pilgrims who had come to fulfill their religious obligations.
"After many years everyone in Kashmir is on the same page on something. We all believe this is not what Kashmir stands for," she said.
Mehbooba said the aim of the attackers was to fuel communal riots in the country and pit people against each other. "I salute the people of the country for being patient."
Seven Amarnath pilgrims were killed and 21 injured in the attack on Monday evening. Our Correspondent
Union minister Jitendra Singh on Wednesday complimented the Kashmiri people for condemning the terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims, saying it had restored the faith in the composite culture of Kashmir and vindicated everything the country and the state stand for.
He also said "supplementary" measures and hi-tech methods such as the use of warning gadgets were being discussed to secure the ongoing annual pilgrimage, which will conclude on August 7.
"I have to congratulate the civil society, the people of Kashmir, in fact the people of the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir, for the kind of resilience and discipline they have maintained over the last 25 years," he told reporters here.
Singh said there were certain elements, which "look forward to fish in the troubled waters of Jhelum with the hope that something goes wrong", and added that the civil society had proved every mischief wrong. "They have vindicated our faith in everything that India stands for, Jammu and Kashmir stands for," said the Union Minister of State for the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
He added that the people of the Valley deserved to be complimented for the way they came out to condemn the terror attack on the pilgrims.
"People have come forward not only to denounce this (the attack), but also with a very aggressive plea that such incidents should not be allowed to take place in the future and the guilty should be brought to book. This is something which was perhaps not very visible for quite some time," said Singh.
Seven Amarnath pilgrims, including six women, were killed and 19 injured when their bus came under terrorists' gunfire in south Kashmir's Anantnag district on Monday night. Singh said earlier, there were complaints that while denouncing the acts of violence, there was a tendency of "selective condemnation", but this time, the way the people of the Valley criticised the terror attack, it would "restore the faith of the world" in the composite culture of Kashmir.
Forces hunting for LeT commander Ismail
Security forces have launched a massive hunt for Pakistani national and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Abu Ismail who has emerged as the mastermind of the deadly terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims, a senior police official said here on Wednesday. The government has also sounded the "highest alert" across Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of Monday's attack in Anantnag district of Kashmir in which seven Amarnath pilgrims, including six women, were killed.
Ismail, who has been identified by the security agencies as the mastermind of the attack, has been active in Valley for several years and had moved base to south Kashmir more than a year ago, the police official said. Proactive operations have been launched, mainly in south Kashmir, to track down Ismail as investigations including communication intercepts have pointed to his involvement in the attack on the pilgrims, he said.
The official said the attack in Anantnag appears to be reprisal for killing of several LeT terrorists including top commander Bashir Lashkari in an encounter with security forces earlier this month.
"The terrorists are frustrated at the back-to-back losses suffered by them during counter-insurgency operations over the past month or so and have now resorted to attacking civilians and tourists," he said.
A home ministry offical indicated in New Delhi that the anti-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir would be intensified as he said the security agencies have been told to implement security plans with full vigour. The Anantnag attack on the pilgrims came on the same day when police announced arrest of a module of LeT including a Hindu terrorist hailing from Muzaffaranagar in Uttar Pradesh.
Targeting of the pilgrims has led to a massive outrage in Kashmir, with people of the Valley saying that such incidents go against the concept of composite culture and Kashmiriyat. The alert was issued after a central ministerial team comprising Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh and Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir visited Kashmir and held extensive discussions with the top brass of the security establishment, Governor N N Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on the prevailing situation.