Gujarat tightens security ahead of return of Amarnath pilgrims’ bodies
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Gujarat tightens security ahead of return of Amarnath pilgrims’ bodies

The Gujarat government has tightened security in the state following the killing in Kashmir of seven Amarnath pilgrims, including three from Gujarat.

Kashmir Turmoil Updated: Jul 11, 2017 13:52 IST
Hiral Dave
Hiral Dave
Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
Amarnath,Greater Kashmir,Amarnath Yatra 2017
Security person stand guard after militants opened fire on the Amarnath Yatra in which seven pilgrims were killed 19 injured in Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday. (PTI)

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and state BJP Chief Jitu Vaghani left for Surat Tuesday morning to meet the families of the Amarnath pilgrims killed in a terror attack in Kashmir Monday night.

Three of the seven victims are from south Gujarat. Rupani and other ministers from his cabinet will be present at Surat airport when the bodies will be flown in around 1 pm in an Indian Air Force plane, official sources said.

Meanwhile, the security has been tightened across the state. Extra forces have been deployed at important installations including airports, railways stations and places of worships.

Two of the victims were from Maharashtra and two from the Union Territory of Daman. However, there has been no official confirmation by the Gujarat administration on identity of the victims.

Usha Sonkar and Nirmala Sonkar hailed from Dahnu in Maharashtra, Ratilal Patel and Hasuben Patel from Vadoli in Daman, Surekha Patel and Laxmiben Patel from Valsad in Gujarat and Champaben Prajapati from Gandevi in Gujarat according to the travel agency Om Sai Travels.

Read more: Kashmir top cop had warned of ‘sensational’ terror strike against Amarnath yatris

The agency’s bus with a Sabarkantha (North Gujarat) district registration left from Valsad (South Gujarat) on June 29 with 54 local passengers.

Harsh Desai, 24-year-old son of bus owner Jawahar Desai, was coordinator for the trip. It was one of several charted buses ferrying some 2,000 to 3,000 Gujarat pilgrims, who are currently in various legs of the Amarnath yatra. According to reports, Harsh was one of the 19 injured.

The Gujarat BJP cancelled all the events scheduled for Tuesday, including a meeting that was to be presided over by party chief Amit Shah and another one of MPs and MLAs with Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind.

First Published: Jul 11, 2017 10:41 IST