National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said the government should order an inquiry to ascertain how tents and community kitchens were set up in a highly-vulnerable area close to the Amarnath cave shrine in the south Kashmir Himalayas, which was hit by flash floods on Friday.
"We are hopeful that the government will form an inquiry commission to know how it happened and why it happened," Abdullah told reporters after meeting Yashwant Sinha, the joint opposition candidate for the July 18 presidential polls, here.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister questioned the decision to set up tents and "langar" (community kitchen) at such a vulnerable area.
"The location of the tents and langars is such that I do not think these things were done there earlier. Panjtarni is such a nice area for this. This needs to be investigated, may be it is a human error," Abdullah said.
He said the kin of the victims should be given compensation and steps should be taken to ensure that such incidents do not take place again.
The death toll in the flash floods triggered by heavy rain near the Amarnath cave shrine rose to 16 on Saturday as the search operations continued without a break amid fears that many are still trapped under the debris.
(With PTI inputs)