Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday took a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the terror attack on Amarnath yatra pilgrims, and asked the party to send 'gau rakshaks' (cow vigilantes) to fight terrorists in the Kashmir valley.
At least seven Amarnath yatra pilgrims were killed and more than 15 were injured after terrorists attacked a bus in the Batengoo area of Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district on Monday.
Five of the deceased were from Gujarat, while two of them hailed from Maharashtra.
"They (the BJP) used to say that do not bring sports, culture etc. in political issues. Today, religion and politics came together in the form of the terror attack. Should we understand that none of those terrorists would have been alive today if they had cow meat in their bags and not weapons?," Thackeray said, according to PTI.
Cow vigilantism has increased in India, with several incidents being reported of people being lynched for carrying beef.
"The issue of 'gau rakshaks' is raging today. Why don't you send these vigilantes to fight terrorists?," Thackeray asked while addressing representatives of various Ganesh mandals for the upcoming festival in Mumbai.
"If the BJP government can talk to separatists in the Kashmir Valley to resolve their issues, they can certainly talk with those wishing to celebrate the Ganesh festival amidst fanfare," the Shiv Sena president said, referring to the restrictions imposed by the Bombay High Court on noise level during festivals.
The attack on Amarnath pilgrims occurred at around 8.20 pm on Monday between Baltal and Mir Bazar.
Inspector General of Police (Kashmir Range) Muneer Khan said that the attack on Amarnath yatra pilgrims was carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly condemned the attack.