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He also attacked the BJP's ruling alliance with the Peoples Democratic Party in Kashmir, saying the association forged for "short term political gain" has cost India massively. Indian leaders have sharply condemned the deadly assault, which has already sparked right-wing protests calling for greater protection for Hindus.

The last major attack on pilgrims in the area was carried out in August 2002, in which nine people were killed in Pahalgam.

Proactive operations have been launched, mainly in south Kashmir, to track down Ismail as investigations including communication intercepts have pointed out to his involvement in the attack on Amarnath pilgrims, a senior police official said.

A police officer said the bus was carrying more than 50 people on the annual pilgrimage.

As per the information, almost 35,000 security men drawn from the army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have been specially monitoring the security across the Amarnath trip. The official release by the Portuguese government said it expresses "firm condemnation of extremism and any form of terrorism, regardless of the perpetrators and their motivation".

"We are too anxious about the United Nations will say and the sanctions that our allies will impose", this person added.

The injured have been moved to a hospital, and they were in stable condition, the police said. "Religion is a fundamental right and human right #AmarnathYatra #ReligiousFreedon".

"No Kashmiri has ever targeted any pilgrims, and this barbarity and atrocity is the trademark of Indian forces", the group's statement said. Some of the demonstrators specifically called out neighboring Pakistan, which India frequently accuses of sponsoring militant groups that occasionally conduct cross-border attacks. "The nation saw how a chief minister fulfilled her responsibility", he said.

The bus full of pilgrims was 600 metres away from the police check-post an was encircled by the terrorists from three sides.

"But no one is applauding this latest attack - the worst on Hindu pilgrims in years".

The attack sparked outrage across Kashmir and much of India. The Jammu and Kashmir government has announced a ₹3 lakh award for Salim.

Meanwhile, students in the Gujarati city of Ahmadabad gathered for a sit-in to protest all religious violence, while peace activists planned a candlelight vigil in New Delhi on Tuesday night.

Britain's Acting High Commissioner Alexander Evans condemned the attack and said his country stands resolutely with India in the fight against terror.


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