NEW DELHI: In its report to the union home ministry, the Jammu and Kashmir police has said that the Lashkar-e-Taiba group that attacked Amarnath Yatra pilgrims had four members and were led by Pakistani operative Mohammad Abu Ismail and another accomplice from across the border.
The module also consisted of two local LeT/Jamat-ud-Dawah members.
The Jammu and Kashmir police also told the Centre that it had definite leads on the module that hit the pilgrims and had a comprehensive plan to nab them, a senior union home ministry official, said quoting from the report. Proactive operations have been launched, mainly in south Kashmir, to track down Ismail.
The bus carrying the pilgrims strayed away from the convoy of buses with security cover from Baltal after ‘darshan’ at the cave shrine on July 8 and stayed in Srinagar for two days. Thereafter, the pilgrims left for Katra at 4.30 pm on July 10.
Katra is the base point from where the pilgrimage for Mata Vaishno Devi shrine begins. The bus was registered as part of the convoy of pilgrimage buses for the onward journey through Baltal base camp, but did not register for the return journey.
The tyre of the bus got punctured 10 km away from Khanabal at 6.30 pm on July 10, the day of the attack. The bus halted at the place for about an hour.
“The terrorists probably got to know that the bus was carrying Amarnath pilgrims from Gujarat and decided to attack it,” the official said.
Minister of state for Home Hansraj Ahir along with MoS (PMO) Jeetendra Singh, who returned from Srinagar on Wednesday after reviewing the security preparedness of the Yatra, briefed union home minister Rajnath Singh.
Ahir is learnt to have advised that the duration of the road opening patrol that is undertaken till 7 pm be extended to 11 pm.