Amid widespread anger over killing of Amarnath yatris, civil society Tuesday came out to protest against these killings and demanded an impartial probe.
Large numbers of representatives from various civil society groups including businessmen, tourism players, academicians and journalists held silent protest demonstration at Pratap Park here and expressed solidarity with victim families.
They demanded that all the massacres carried out by forces and other agencies should be probed by independent human rights organisations.
“We are here to send a message that this is not our culture or tradition but to an act to defame our freedom struggle. The perpetrators of this inhuman act are enemies of Kashmiris,” said business leader Muhammad Yasin Khan.
Khan termed it an act to defame Kashmiris. “This barbaric act is condemnable. In Kashmir, one and all have condemned it and we express solidarity with bereaved families,” he said.
Fozia, a social activist from Anantnag (Islamabad) who was part of the protest, said that she had been witnessing Yatra since her childhood. “People of Kashmir have always welcomed Yatris and offered best hospitality to them. This attack is the handiwork of anti-Kashmir elements. The faces must be unveiled by impartial probe,” she added.
Chairman Nigeen Tourist Traders Association (NTTA) Manzoor Ahmad Wangnoo said that Yatris are guest of Kashmir and Kashmir stands with them.
“Amarnath yatris are guests of every Kashmiri. They have been provided with best hospitality as per the age old tradition of Kashmir and will be treated in same fashion always,” he said.
“Entire Kashmir is in the state of shock and we demand impartial probe and guilty punished,” he said
“We express deepest sympathies with the bereaved families who lost their loved ones. We collectively condemn this inhuman and barbaric act in strong terms,” he added.
Advocate Yasir Dalal and Mushtaq Sofi from Hurriyat (M) were also the part of protest. “We share the pain and sorrow of victim families. The barbaric act is condemnable and we stand with yatris,” said Advocate Dalal.
Another civil society group held a separate protest at Press Enclave here on Tuesday morning and condemned the attack on Yatris.
“Our pain and condemnation is beyond our words. No one condone such inhumanely cruel act. The yellow belly and monsters who committed this heinous act deserved strong condemnation,” said Irfan Hafeez Lone, a social activist.
“History is witness to the fact that people always stood with Yatris and lefty no stone unturned to help them in possible ways,” he added.
Seven Amarnath pilgrims were killed and 12 others injured, when a bus they were traveling in was caught in crossfire between militants and government forces in Khanabal area of Anantnag on Monday evening.
Kashmir chapter of The PHD Chamber Of Commerce and Industry today condemned the attack on Amarnath yatra.
“An emergency meeting held in the wake of terror attack on Amarnath yatra pilgrims has condemned in the strongest terms the brutal terrorist attacks that took place in Kashmir on Amarnath yatra pilgrims,” a spokesperson of the chamber said in a written statement.