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NIA likely to take J&K's Reasi pilgrim bus terror attack case

Terrorists opened fire at the 53-seater bus, 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 on Sunday. The bus was ferrying pilgrims from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi.
Last Updated : 10 June 2024, 03:20 IST
Last Updated : 10 June 2024, 03:20 IST

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Srinagar: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is likely to take over the case of a terror attack on a pilgrim bus in Reasi, Jammu and Kashmir which resulted in the deaths of nine pilgrims and 33 injuries on Sunday evening.

The incident occurred when the driver of the bus carrying pilgrims from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi to the shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi was hit by a bullet and lost balance, causing the vehicle to roll down the gorge.

The Pakistan-backed The Resistance Front (TRF), an offshoot of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack. In a message, the TRF has warned of more such attacks on “tourists and non-locals” and called the Reasi attack only the “beginning of a renewed start.”

Sources said the attack on the bus has sounded alarm bells for security agencies in the Union Territory as it points to militants expanding their area of operation beyond the border districts of Rajouri and Poonch in the otherwise peaceful Jammu region.

In light of the gravity of the situation, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is poised to take over the case, they said. The NIA team will work in collaboration with local law enforcement agencies to gather evidence and pursue leads.

The involvement of the NIA underscores the severity of the attack and the determination of the authorities to bring the culprits to justice.The NIA, known for its expertise in handling terrorism-related investigations, is expected to bring its full resources to bear on uncovering the perpetrators behind this atrocity.

The attack on the pilgrim bus in Reasi is a stark reminder of the fragile peace in the region and the ever-present threat of terrorism. The last time militants had struck in Reasi district was in May 2022 when they planted sticky bombs in a bus, killing four Vaishno Devi pilgrims and injuring nearly two dozen.

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Published 10 June 2024, 03:20 IST

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