New Delhi, July 12: There were several thousand Amarnath Yatris (pilgrims) who were stranded in Jammu and Kashmir owing to the protests that erupted following the death of Burhan Wani, the Hizbul Mujahideen Commander.
While the pilgrims were stranded at Anantnag arrangements were being made to move them in buses to Pahalgam.
It was at this time that an intelligence bureau alert was picked up which suggested that there were nearly four militants waiting with arms to attack the buses. The information was quickly shared with the local authorities who put the travel on hold.
How this IB operation saved the pilgrims?
IB officers picked up an alert which stated that there were four armed persons waiting to carry out an attack on the yatris at Anantnag. There were scores of yatris who were to be transported to Pahalgam, but they were unable to proceed immediately due to this warning.
There were nearly 70 buses that were waiting to move out of the area with the pilgrims. However the IB officials informed the authorities not to move the buses until there was a green signal. The militants continued to wait at the same spot.
However at around 10.30 the green signal from IB came. The militants moved away from the spot as they may have thought there would be no movement of the buses. It was only once it was completely confirmed that the militants had moved away did the the IB give the green signal for the movement of the buses.
Plan to attack or scare:
The intention of the four militants was however not clear. There have been several incidents such as this in the past where the militants just surface with an intention of creating a scare. Their intention may have been to delay the movement of the buses and also play a cat and mouse game with the IB.
While it appears that these militants were attempting to create a scare, the IB officers say that in such matters one cannot take chances. The operation had to be handled delicately. The officers could not even move forward as they would have alerted the militants. The militants could have started firing and this would have led to chaos.