Amarnath Yatra attack: Why did govt fail to protect pilgrims despite intelligence warning, asks Asaduddin Owaisi

Hyderabad: Condemning the attack on Amarnath pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday sought to know what steps were taken after "intelligence inputs" had warned of such a possibility.

"I want the government of India to take note of this because it is their party (BJP), which is in alliance with the PDP (in Jammu and Kashmir)," he said, adding that the coalition government neither provided governance nor could "manage things".

File image of Asaduddin Owaisi. PTI

File image of Asaduddin Owaisi. PTI

Seven Amarnath pilgrims, including six women, were killed and 19 injured after their bus came under terrorists' gunfire in south Kashmir's Anantnag district on Monday night.

Claiming that there was an intelligence input in June about a possible attack on Amarnath pilgrims, Owaisi sought to know what steps were taken in its wake.

"It was clearly stated that the terrorists intended to launch an attack on Amarnath pilgrims. Now, it is for the government to answer. Even after an intelligence input, what steps were taken to provide security," he told reporters.

Recalling that the first ever attack on Amarnath pilgrims had also taken place when the BJP-led NDA was at the Centre, the Hyderabad Member of Parliament said terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) wanted to create a "2008-like situation" in Kashmir.

"One must also remember the interview of Salahuddin (Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin) last year, where he had made all these claims. I hope the government will now take note of these things and ensure that no more terror attacks take place in the Valley," he said.

The AIMIM chief said there should be no politics over the issue, but added that the opposition or the media questioning the government could not be described as "politicising".

To a query, he said the Shiv Sena should "take out its anger" at the Centre.

"It is for the Sena to clarify why are they supporting the BJP. If they are feeling so peeved, angry and upset, let them come out of the government. But to connect it with the Haj is completely wrong. It is a BJP-PDP government which has failed to provide protection to the pilgrims. The Sena should be bold enough to take a strong decision," he added.

Owaisi was apparently referring to Sena Member of Parliament Sanjay Raut's statement on Tuesday, who quoted late Sena founder Bal Thackeray as saying that "if there is a single casualty of a terror attack during the Amarnath yatra, the Shiv Sena will ensure that no plane takes off with Haj pilgrims from anywhere in the country".

"The situation today is such that a similar stand needs to be taken," Raut had said.

Owaisi also said India "should not give a chance" to the ISI, terror organisations or even China to take advantage of the situation.

Updated Date: Jul 11, 2017 20:36 PM

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