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Terrorists fired for 20 minutes after bus collapsed: J&K attack survivor

Terrorists fired for 20 minutes after bus collapsed: J&K attack survivor

Jammu:

Survivors of the June 9 terror attack on pilgrims in J&K’s Reasi district say the attackers fired at the downed bus for nearly 20 minutes.

They said that after the driver was hit by gunfire, the bus fell into a deep gorge in Poni area of ​​the district and terrorists fired continuously.

Five of the dead had gunshot wounds. Of the 41 injured, 10 suffered gunshot injuries.

Bhawani Shankar of Tughlakabad extension in Delhi went to pay homage at the Mata Vaishno Devi temple on his marriage anniversary. He was accompanied by his wife Radha Devi and two children, 5-year-old Deksha and 2-year-old Raghav.

“Even after the bus hit the gorge, the terrorists continued to shoot at the bus. I managed to push the children under the bus seats even though I was injured.

“It was a horror that I will never forget in my life,” Shankar said as he lay in the super-speciality government teaching hospital where he is being treated for his injuries.

Not all pilgrims on the bus were lucky to survive the terrorists’ fire.

Four members of a family from Jaipur in Rajasthan, including a two-year-old boy and two cousins ​​from Balrampur district in Uttar Pradesh, were killed in a bus terror attack.

The family members from Chomu near Jaipur who died were identified as Pooja Saini, 30, her 2-year-old son Levansh, Pooja’s uncle Rajendra Saini, 44, and Rajendra’s wife Mamta, 40.

Santosh Kumar Verma from Balrampur district in Uttar Pradesh recalled what he saw. “I first saw the militants blocking the bus’s path, and then the driver’s head falling on the steering wheel. And then the bus fell into a ravine,” he said.

Survivors said they played dead on the bus until the terrorists thought their job was done and left the place.

Rajat Ram Sharma lost his 14-year-old son in this attack.

“Suddenly someone shouted that militants had attacked the bus. I immediately pushed my wife and son under the seats, but before we could get the curtain, the bus fell into a ravine and I lost control of my son,” he said.

The dead include two-year-old Titu Sawhney and his mother Pooja, a bus driver and conductor.

J&K Lt Manoj Sinha met the injured at Narayana Hospital in Katra city and the Government Medical College Hospital in Jammu city. The administration has given ex gratia assistance of Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin of those killed in the incident and Rs 50,000 to each of the injured.

The security forces have formed 15 teams to track down the perpetrators of this terrorist attack. Several arrests have already been made and the detained people are being interrogated.

The Resistance Front (TRF) – the social media front of various terrorist groups including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohamamd (JeM) – is responsible for the attack.

The killings of innocent pilgrims have been widely condemned across the Union Territory.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)