Updated June 11th, 2024 at 12:21 IST

Why the Terror Attack on Hindu Pilgrims In J-K's Reasi Poses New Security Worry | Explained

The horrific terror attack in Reasi district that killed at least nine, including a toddler and wounded 33 others has sounded alarm bells for security agencies.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Edited by: Ronit Singh
Why the Terror Attack on Hindu Pilgrims In J-K's Reasi Poses New Security Worry | Explained | Image:PTI
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Reasi: The horrific terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi district on June 9 that killed at least nine, including a toddler and wounded 33 others has sounded alarm bells for security agencies in the Union Territory. 

The armed militants fired upon a bus carrying Hindu pilgrims from Shiv Khori in Reasi, resulting in the vehicle plunging into a deep gorge. The Resistance Front (TRF), an offshoot of Pakistan-based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, claimed responsibility for the attack.    

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Notably, the deadly terror attack on Indian soil unfolded when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his 71 Council of Ministers took the oath of office at the President's House in New Delhi during a grand ceremony attended by seven foreign leaders. 

J&K Lieutenant Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha said PM Modi had taken “stock of the situation” and assured the best medical care for the injured. He also announced Rs 10 lakh ex-gratia each for families of those killed in the Reasi terror attack. 

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Terror Survivor Recounts Horror

An eyewitness of the terror attack claimed that two masked terrorists opened fire on the bus carrying pilgrims from the Shiv Khori temple to Katra's Vaishno Devi shrine. 

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Reasi Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Mohita Sharma claimed that the militants ‘ambushed the bus.' She added that the bus pilot lost control behind the wheels and fell into a gorge in the Teryath village of the Poni region.

Reasi Attack: The New Security Worry  

The terror attack in Reasi, an administrative district in the Jammu region, points to militants expanding their region of operation beyond the border districts of Poonch and Rajouri. 

The terrorists had last targeted Hindu pilgrims in Reasi district in May 2022 when they killed four Vaishno Devi devotees and injured 24 others by planting sticky bombs in a bus. 

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Besides the 2022 attack, the Reasi district, which is located far away from the Line of Control, had been peaceful for nearly the past two decades. Hence, terror attacks beyond the Rajouri and Poonch districts indicate that terrorists have expanded their base of operation in the Union Territory. 

The sources claimed that the only terror-related activity reported in Reasi earlier was militants passing through on their way to the Kashmir Valley after crossing the LoC into Rajouri and Poonch districts. A similar incident happened in July 2022 when local residents overpowered two LeT militants in Reasi's Tuksan Dhok and handed them over to security forces. 

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Notably, both the militants were at that time on their way to Kashmir from Rajouri.

US-Made M4 Rifles Used 

Initial reports claimed that Pakistan-based LeT terrorists used AK rifles and M4 carbines - American-made assault rifles used extensively by militaries worldwide, including a variant reportedly in service with Pakistani special forces and the Special Security Unit of the Sindh Police.

During the anti-terror operation, the security forces recovered 7.62 mm bullets, those used in AK range rifles, and 5.56 mm bullets used in M4 carbines. It's suspected that ammunition was dropped through drone service in the Reasi district. 

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The intelligence sources claimed that at least two militants are hiding in the upper ranges of the Reasi region (forested, difficult to reach and search). A massive man hunt has been launched to nab the ‘coward’ terrorists who killed innocent civilians.  

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Published June 11th, 2024 at 09:37 IST