AHMEDABAD: Gujarat today erupted in anger over the death of seven Amarnath pilgrims, majority of whom hailed from the state, in a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir, with people taking to streets to condemn 'Pakistan- sponsored terror' and demanding reprisal.
People in several cities and towns burned effigies of 'terror' demanding that the Narendra Modi-led Central government "avenge" the killings and punish Pakistan for propagating terror. Protests were held in Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat, Valsad, Mandvi (in Kutch), Modasa, Surendranagar and Jamnagar, besides other towns.
Seven Amarnath pilgrims, including six women, were killed and 19 injured when terrorists attacked a bus in Kashmir's Anantnag district last evening. While five of the deceased hailed from Gujarat, two were from neighbouring Maharashtra. Effigies of 'terror' were set on fire in Gandhidham and Mandvi towns in Kutch district and Surat. In Valsad, from where the ill-fated bus was headed to Amarnath carrying over 50 pilgrims, a black-coloured 'effigy of terror' was hanged by protesters at Azad Chaowk.
Various organisations and trade bodies have given a call for Valsad bandh tomorrow. In Ahmedabad, the local unit of Shiv Sena set afire Pakistan's flag near RTO Circle and demanded stern action against terrorists. In an act of solidarity, a large number of Muslims from Jamalpur and Lal Darwaja areas of the city turned up to pay homage to the deceased and called for decisive action against Pakistan and terrorists in the Valley.
In Valsad, garment shop owners resorted to a unique protest wherein they dressed mannequins put outside their shops with black clothes. They also hanged placards on these mannequins, asking the government to do something concrete to eliminate the menace of terror.