Jammu & Kashmir: 10 Killed; Many Injured in Reasi Terror Attack

In a shocking incident, a bus carrying pilgrims fell into a gorge in Reasi district in Jammu & Kashmir after terrorists opened fire at it, killing 10 & injuring 33 people.

In a shocking incident on 9th June 2024, a bus carrying pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi district fell into a gorge after terrorists opened fire on it around 6:15 pm. This tragic event occurred almost an hour before PM Modi and his cabinet took their oath.

The bus was traveling from the famous Shiv Khori cave shrine in Reasi to the Vaishnodevi Mata shrine near Katra. It had 53 passengers from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Delhi. Terrorists attacked the bus near Teryath village in the Poni area, firing 25 to 30 shots. The driver was hit, causing the bus to veer off the road and plunge into a deep gorge.

Tragically, 10 people died, most of them women and children, and around 33 people were severely injured, including the bus conductor. Locals and police rushed to the site to assist the victims, who were then taken to Teryath Hospital, Narayan Hospital, and Reasi District Hospital for treatment.

A witness told the police he saw a masked assailant in a red muffler firing at the bus from the dense forest. Another passenger, Santosh Kumar, described seeing a man in army-like clothes with a black cloth covering his face, firing indiscriminately. Another passenger shared how they hid their children under the seat during the attack, fearing for their lives.

Despite being shot, the driver showed remarkable courage and tried to drive the bus to safety. Reports suggest that a Pakistan-backed terrorist organization, an offshoot of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), claimed responsibility for the attack. They called it the "beginning of a renewed start" and warned of more attacks on tourists and non-locals.

In response, a joint security force operation headquarters has been set up at the site, involving the J&K Police, the Indian Army, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), and the CRPF. Security teams have started a search operation for Abu Hamza, an active LeT terrorist in Rajouri.

Shortly after the oath ceremony, President Murmu, PM Modi, and other leaders condemned the attack, expressed condolences, and assured the nation that the terrorists responsible will be punished severely. Union Home Minister Amit Shah stated that the culprits of this dastardly attack will face the wrath of the law. The Congress party highlighted the incident as a reflection of the worrying security situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Shiv Khori temple and Vaishnodevi Mata temple areas are now under high alert with frequent patrolling. Reasi district has largely remained unaffected by terrorist activities compared to nearby regions like Rajouri and Poonch. This incident underscores the ongoing danger from terrorist groups based in Pakistan, aiming to incite unrest and rekindle militancy in the Jammu area.

Protests have erupted in many Jammu districts, including Reasi, demanding strict action against the terrorists. Netizens have expressed their anger over the recent tragic events, such as the attack on the IAF convoy on 4th May and numerous terrorist strikes in Poonch and Rajouri in the past few weeks.

This is the second terrorist attack targeting a pilgrim bus in Jammu and Kashmir in the past 30 years. The first attack was in July 2017, when terrorists attacked a bus transporting Amarnath pilgrims in Anantnag district, killing seven pilgrims and injuring 19 others.