News Brief

"Firing Did Not Stop Even After Bus Fell Into Gorge": What We Know So Far About Terror Attack In Jammu-Kashmir's Reasi

Nishtha Anushree

Jun 10, 2024, 12:40 PM | Updated 12:40 PM IST

Bus that fell into gorge after terror attack
Bus that fell into gorge after terror attack

At least nine people were killed and 33 were injured in a terror attack on a bus carrying Hindu pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi district on Sunday (9 June).

The bus was returning from Shiv Khori cave shrine to Katra, a town known for the Vaishno Devi temple. It was travelling on a link road of NH144A, winding through thick forests and mountainous terrain.

SSP Mohita Sharma suspects that the terrorists were waiting for the bus. "The driver was hit by gunfire and lost control of the vehicle,” the officer said, noting that bullet shells were found at the scene.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) team has reached the attack site to assist police and assess the ground situation. The forensic team of the NIA is also working on evidence collection from the ground.

Soon after the attack, vehicles were checked to find any suspected terrorists and a round-the-clock helpline was created. An Army helicopter was brought in to conduct a search operation.

The search operation by the Indian Army is still going on. Drones are being used to search the forest area. State Disaster Response Force has also reached the spot.

SSP Mohita Sharma giving details of the attack said, "It happened around 6 pm... The terrorists fled after the attack. Civilians helped in rescue and the operation was complete by 7:45 pm."

"As per eyewitnesses, two (terrorists) were there. Combing operation is underway in the area. Five teams have been formed to search in the area as thickly forested peaks are here," she explained.

Former Sarpanch Bhushan Uppal, part of the civilian rescue team said, "We asked the injured people, they told us that one of the terrorists attacked the driver and he was shot in the head."

"The driver lost control and the vehicle fell into the ditch, but they did not stop firing. They kept firing for 15 to 20 minutes and because of that some people got injured due to the bullets," he added.

He also asserted that this type of attack is first in the area and it will affect the yatra. "Even during the peak of militancy, no such attack was seen here," he elaborated.

As per an eyewitness from Uttar Pradesh, "The firing did not stop even after our bus fell into the ditch. When the bus was on the road, firing started from the front."

The driver was shot first and then some people were also injured in the firing, he added. Another eyewitness shared a similar experience and added that there must have been two to three attackers.

An ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh was announced by the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu-Kashmir Manoj Sinha for the next of kin of pilgrims martyred and Rs 50,000 for the injured pilgrims, who are being treated now.

"A control room has been created by the district administration to provide all necessary assistance. A joint security force temporary HQ by J&K Police, Army and CRPF has been set up at the site and operation is in progress," he added.

Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.

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