Muslims to the rescue of Amarnath pilgrims

Published on: July 14, 2016
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/muslims-to-the-rescue-of-amarnath-pilgrims/article8845203.ece?homepage=true

Special Correspondent

Srinagar, July 14, 2016
Muslims in volatile south Kashmir on Wednesday came to the rescue of Amarnath pilgrims when a bus they were travelling in collided with a vehicle on the Pahalgam-Jammu National Highway.
Two persons, including the driver, died in the accident.

Several Muslims in Bijbehara, which saw clashes over death of two protesters a day before, defied the curfew restrictions to rescue the pilgrims and shift them to nearby hospitals. Twenty-two pilgrims were injured in the accident.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti hailed the effort of the residents of Halmulla, Bijbehara, and the adjoining areas “who, amid trying circumstances, helped the injured Amarnath Yatris.”

“This is the uniqueness of Kashmir’s distinct and valued culture, we must all fight to protect. Locals, themselves mourning tragic deaths in the recent law and order situation, ignored their personal grief and rushed to the accident spot to rescue the injured pilgrims,” said Ms. Mufti.

Meanwhile, BJP Minister Priya Sethi directed the administration to ensure that all registered Yatris are cleared for onward journey to the cave shrine. “Due to unfortunate incidents in the Valley, the Yatra had to be suspended for some time but now that the government has made all required arrangements the Yatra has resumed as per routine,” said Ms. Sethi.

She said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had extended all necessary support to the State government for improving the law and order situation in the State. Over 25,000 stranded pilgrims have been shifted out of the Kashmir Valley after fresh turmoil hit the area.