Press Trust of India

Reasi terror attack: Combing operation launched to track down terrorists; NIA, SIA visit spot

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Jammu: A massive cordon and search operation is underway to track down terrorists responsible for the attack on a passenger bus in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district that left nine people dead and 41 injured, officials said on Monday.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), State Investigation Agency (SIA) and Forensic department teams visited the spot of the terror attack and initiated a probe, they said.

On Sunday, terrorists opened fire at the 53-seater bus carrying pilgrims when it was en route from Shiv Khori temple to the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine at Katra near Teryath village in the Poni area. The bus plunged into the deep gorge following the gunfire.

Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha visited injured passengers at GMC and Narayana hospitals on Monday and said the terrorist attack was part of a nefarious design to spread turmoil in the Jammu region. Such attempts would be thwarted, he asserted.

The Director General of Police (DGP) along with senior officers, including the Army, is scheduled to visit the spot to get first-hand information about the incident.

Security forces, including the Army, police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), have laid a multi-dimensional cordon of the Teryath-Poni-Shiv Khori area bordering Rajouri district, officials said.

Armed with surveillance equipment, including drones and sniffer dogs, a massive combing operation has begun in the area and adjoining areas of the district, they said.

Terrorists involved in the attack are believed to be hiding in the upper reaches of neighbouring Rajouri and Reasi, the sources said, adding the area has dense forest belts and deep gorges.

“Search operation has been launched in the area. Efforts are on to track them (terrorists) down. As per information, two terrorists were involved in the attack”, Senior Superintendent of Police, Reasi, Mohita Sharma said.

The village defence committees have also been geared up in the area, she added.

Officials said that 41 people were injured in the attack and 10 of them sustained bullet wounds. The forensic team reached the spot in the morning, scanned the entire area and collected various materials connected to the attack, they said, adding these included some bullets.

An NIA team has also reached the spot and is coordinating with the local police probing into the attack while the SIA team gathered first-hand information about the incident, the officials said.

Meanwhile, anti-Pakistan protests broke out across the Jammu region, including Katra, Doda town and Kathua district, calling for increased security measures to prevent such incidents. Accusing Pakistan of sponsoring terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, the protesters demanded action against the neighbouring country.

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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