J-K Terror Attack: Security Operations Intensify In Jammu and Kashmir After Deadly Assault On Pilgrims – News18

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Last Updated: June 11, 2024, 14:47 IST

Jammu, India

At least 9 people were killed after a bus fell into gorge in J&K's Reasi on Sunday following a terror attack. (Image: PTI)

At least 9 people were killed after a bus fell into gorge in J&K’s Reasi on Sunday following a terror attack. (Image: PTI)

Nine people were killed and 41 injured as the terrorists opened fire at the 53-seater bus, which was on its way from the Shiv Khori temple to the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Katra

Security operations continued on Tuesday in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district following the attack on pilgrims that resulted in the loss of nine lives. As many as 11 security teams are actively working in the area, implementing a multi-directional cordon around the Poni-Treyath belt.

Security forces have heightened vigilance in the surrounding areas and have intensified checking and frisking activities in the region. Authorities have detained over 20 individuals for questioning in connection with the incident.

On Sunday, terrorists opened fire at the 53-seater bus, which was on its way from the Shiv Khori temple to the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Katra, causing it to veer off the road and fall into a deep gorge near the Teryath village of the Poni area of Reasi. The bus was ferrying pilgrims from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi.

READ MORECCTV Captures Bus In J&K’s Reasi Moments Before Attack, Disturbing Terror Pattern Emerges Amid Massive Manhunt

Security men inspect a bus that fell into a deep gorge on Sunday after it was fired at by terrorists in Reasi district, Jammu and Kashmir, Monday, June 10, 2024. (AP Photo)

Deputy Inspector General of Police, Udhampur-Reasi Range, Rayees Mohammad Bhat said the security forces have got some leads as 11 teams of police, Army and CRPF are jointly working on two different axes to neutralise the fleeing terrorists.

“The search operation is going on today in and around the area (where the attack took place) with 11 teams working on the ground apart from a multi-directional cordon laid around the (Poni-Treyath) belt,” another senior police officer said.

Earlier, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha visited the injured in Jammu and Reasi hospitals and chaired a high-level meeting to review the security situation.  Survivors of the attack are recording their statements as part of the ongoing probe into the attack, while a thorough combing operation is underway to track down the perpetrators, the officials said, adding several persons were detained for questioning. The Resistance Front (TRF), a shadow group of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba terror outfit, initially claimed responsibility for the attack but retracted its statement later.

READ MORE‘Terrorists Continued Firing Even After Our Bus Fell Into Gorge’: Survivors Recount Terror Attack In J&K’s Reasi

Among those killed in the attack are two-year-old Titu Sawhney and his mother Pooja from Rajasthan. They were among four people from the state who lost their lives in the attack. Three of the deceased were from Uttar Pradesh. The driver and the conductor of the bus, both from Reasi, were also among the victims. The officials said five of the nine deceased had gunshot wounds. They added that 41 people were injured in the attack and 10 of them had bullet injuries. Some of those injured were undergoing treatment in hospitals across Jammu and Reasi districts.

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Security forces suspect the terrorists are hiding in the mountainous terrains of Rajouri and Reasi, and have intensified combing operations in the region. “Operation is continuing for the second day and we are working on various inputs. Multiple teams have been formed to work on two different axes while the investigation part is also continuing simultaneously,” the DIG, who is leading the operation, told agencies. Asked about the detention of several persons for questioning, he replied that saying anything on this matter would be premature but “we have got some leads and we are following those leads to track down the fleeing terrorists”.

Admitting that the area poses a challenge for the security forces given the dense forest, lack of water sources, threat of forest fires, steep slopes and crevices that work as a natural hideout, the officer said that search parties are moving cautiously to avoid any casualty in case of contact with the terrorists. Talking to reporters at the scene late this evening, the officer said 11 teams have fanned out in coordination with the Army and CRPF and a joint effort is on to neutralise the terrorists.

READ MOREBus Driver Made Last-Ditch Attempt To Save Pilgrims After Terrorists Sprayed Him With Bullets In J&K’s Reasi

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha condemned the attack, calling it a part of a malicious scheme to disrupt peace in the region. Expressing solidarity with the affected families, the administration has approved ex gratia payments of Rs 10 lakh for the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for those injured. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Amit Shah have been briefed on the situation, with assurances that those responsible for the attack will face justice, Sinha said.

“The attack is a despicable attempt to instigate turmoil in Jammu, but we are resolute in our commitment to safeguard the region,” Sinha said during a visit to the injured at the Government Medical College. He also visited Narayana Hospital in Reasi. The Lt Governor also held a high-level security review meeting here later in the day. “Chaired a security review meeting with the officials of J&K Police and Civil Administration. I assure the people that those behind the attack on pilgrims in Reasi and those aiding and abetting them will be punished,” the Lt Governor wore on X.

(With agency inputs)

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