In a tragic incident in Reasi, Jammu and Kashmir, terrorists opened fire on a bus carrying Hindu pilgrims, killing nine and injuring 33. Around 6:15 p.m. on Sunday, the 53-seater bus was ambushed and crashed down a rocky canyon on its way from the Shiv Khori cave temple to the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Katra.

Details of the Incident

Mohita Sharma, the SSP for Reasi, said that a group of militants targeted the Yatri bus in the Ransoo area of the district. The attack caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle, which crashed into a gorge near Pouni’s Kanda region. The terrifying attack caused instant casualties and injuries among the passengers.

Official Reactions and Condemnations

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has announced an ex-gratia payment of ₹10 lakh for the families of those slain and ₹50,000 for the injured. The declaration highlights the administration’s prompt action to assist the impacted families during this difficult time. President Droupadi Murmu was deeply saddened by the tragedy, describing it as a “crime against humanity” that must be strongly condemned. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too, was quick to respond. He asked LG Sinha to closely monitor the issue and provide extensive aid to the victims’ relatives. PM Modi highlighted that the perpetrators of this horrific act would face severe consequences.

Union Minister Amit Shah, immediately after his oath-taking ceremony, condemned the attack, reiterating that those responsible would not be spared. Shah has been in constant communication with LG Sinha and DGP R R Swain to assess the situation and expedite measures to bring the attackers to justice.

Security Measures and Rescue Operations

SSP Sharma declared the incident a clear case of a terror attack and detailed the prompt rescue operations initiated. The injured were swiftly transported to nearby hospitals, and a detailed operation to identify and hunt down the terrorists was launched. The SSP mentioned that while the identities of the deceased and injured are yet to be confirmed, it is likely that they were from Uttar Pradesh.

Local residents played a crucial role in the immediate aftermath, assisting the victims and providing first-hand accounts of the attack. One survivor recounted how the bus was showered with 25 to 30 bullets before it veered off the road. Another witness saw a masked attacker, identifiable by a red muffler, shooting at the bus.

Enhanced Security Measures

In response to the attack, security forces have heightened their vigilance, particularly around the Shiv Khori temple. Regular area domination patrols are being conducted, and the Village Defence Guards have been put on high alert with frequent firing practice sessions.

A joint security task force comprising police, army, and CRPF has set up a temporary operation headquarters at the attack site. They have launched a multidimensional operation to apprehend the terrorists, ensuring that all necessary steps are taken to stabilize the attack site. They have launched a multidimensional operation to apprehend the terrorists, ensuring that all necessary steps are taken to stabilize the situation in Kashmir.

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Aanya Kapoor, a seasoned editor at Atom News, brings a wealth of experience in journalism and a keen eye for compelling stories. With a background in investigative reporting, Aanya Kapoor is dedicated to delivering news that resonates with our diverse readership.