Reasi Attack: JKP Constitutes 11 Teams to Nab The Killers


SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Police (JKP) have intensified their efforts to investigate the Reasi attack, forming 11 teams dedicated to uncovering the details behind the Sunday evening tragedy. The attack resulted in the deaths of nine individuals – seven pilgrims, bus driver and the conductor, and left over 30 injured when militants opened fire on a bus carrying pilgrims, causing it to plunge into a deep gorge.

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“Regarding the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi, we have some leads which we are following,” Rayees Mohammad Bhat, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Udhampur range), has stated.

”It would be premature to tell how many terrorists were involved in the attack, but prima facie, two to three terrorists were involved.”

So far, the JKP have questioned at least four persons from Reasi and adjoining areas on the suspicion of helping the killers, reports appearing in the media suggest.

The Reasi Senior Superintendent of Police, Mohita Sharma, added that a combing operation is underway, with five teams focusing on the dense forest area surrounding the incident site. “As per eyewitnesses, two terrorists were there as of now. Drones are also being used to search the forest area.”

The bus, en route from the Shiv Khori shrine to Katra, was ambushed by militants at around 6.10 pm in the Pouni area of Reasi district. The targeted vehicle fell into a deep gorge, leading to a tragic loss of life.

Among the deceased were Rajendra Saini (42), his wife Mamta (40), their relative Pooja Saini (30), and her two-year-old son Titu. Survivors, including Bhawani Shankar from Delhi, recounted the horror of the attack and the ensuing chaos as they sought cover from the gunfire.

Survivor Bhawani Shankar recounted the harrowing experience: “I bent down and hid my two children under the bus seat as bullets were being fired from hills. Those 20-25 minutes of horror will stay with me forever.”

Shankar, a resident of Delhi, was visiting Vaishno Devi for his marriage anniversary. He and his family, along with others injured, are receiving treatment in Jammu and Kashmir hospitals.

Ruby Verma (22) and her cousin Anurag Verma (16) from Uttar Pradesh were among the deceased. Ruby’s brother, Banshi Verma, said, “We never imagined something like this would happen on a pilgrimage.”

In response to the attack, the Indian Army and State Disaster Response Force were quickly deployed to the site, along with drones to aid in the search operations. A team from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is also on the ground, assessing the situation and collecting forensic evidence.

Sources revealed that four Pakistani militants, with the help of a local associate, orchestrated the attack. They are believed to be hiding in the forests of Teryath, taking directions from Pakistan through secured communication channels. The militants were reportedly trained in military warfare and equipped with sophisticated weapons such as INSAS and M4 Carbine rifles.

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 10 lakh each for the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured. “Hon’ble PM has also directed that all the injured are provided the best possible medical care and assistance,” he added on social media.

The attack has left communities in shock, particularly in Rajasthan’s Jaipur and Uttar Pradesh’s Balrampur, where several victims were from. Mamta and Rajendra Saini’s three children, who were unaware of their parents’ fate, were initially told that their parents were injured in a road accident.

The security forces, having recently completed peaceful Lok Sabha elections in the region, now face the renewed challenge of ensuring safety for the upcoming Amarnath yatra, set to begin on June 29. The Reasi attack underscores the persistent threat posed by terrorists and the need for heightened security measures.

This attack is reminiscent of previous militant assaults on pilgrim buses in Jammu and Kashmir, such as the July 2017 ambush on Amarnath pilgrims in Anantnag and the May 2022 sticky bomb attack in Reasi. These incidents highlight the ongoing conflict in the region and the attempts by fugitives to disrupt peace and incite fear among civilians.

The Congress party criticized the ruling BJP for the security lapse, with Rahul Gandhi questioning the government’s claims of peace and normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir. Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah vowed that the perpetrators would face justice, emphasizing the government’s commitment to combating terrorism.

(With inputs from PTI)


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