The bodies of all the seven Amarnath Yatra pilgrims killed by militants in Jammu and Kashmir reached Surat, Gujarat, on Tuesday as the state government announced Rs 10 lakh compensation to the kin of each of the dead and Rs 2 Lakh for the injured.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani received the bodies along with 19 injured pilgrims and 32 others who were flown from Srinagar.
Rupani, announcing a reward for the driver of the Amarnath bus, said, “We want to thank the bus driver who saved many lives amid heavy firing. The Gujarat government will nominate Salim for the bravery award with the Central government,”
Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh and other senior ruling PDP-BJP leaders and senior civil and police officers laid wreaths on the pilgrims’ bodies before they were flown to Gujarat.
Kashmir police chief Munir Khan told media that there were credible inputs that the LeT outfit was responsible for the attack that also left 19 pilgrims injured in the attack on Monday evening.
The officer said security for the ongoing pilgrimage to the Himalayan cave shrine has been beefed up.
On Monday night, six women and a man were killed and 19 others injured when militants attacked an unescorted bus from Gujarat at Khanabal in Anantnag district on the Srinagar-Jammu highway.
Two of the women were from Maharashtra, while the others belonged to Gujarat. The bodies of the two Maharashtra women will be later sent to their hometown. Of the 19 injured, eight pilgrims were from Maharashtra.
The 40-day Amarnath pilgrimage began on 29 June and will end on 7 August. So far, nearly 1.40 lakh pilgrims have reached the cave shrine.