Pilgrimage Turns Deadly: Reasi Terror Attack Claimed 10 Lives

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Reasi Terror Attack: In a tragic turn of events, a bus carrying devotees from Shiv Khori to Katra fell into a gorge in Reasi, Jammu & Kashmir, following a terrorist ambush on Sunday, 9th June 2024, at approximately 6:10 pm. The attack claimed ten lives, including the driver. This devastating incident occurred shortly after Prime Minister Modi’s swearing-in ceremony, renewing urgent concerns about safety in the terror-stricken region.

Reasi Terror Attack Highlights

  • A pilgrimage bus derailed from the road when terrorists opened fire on it on June 9, 2024, at approximately 6:10 pm. The attack resulted in ten fatalities and left 33 others injured. Some reports also suggest the number of injured persons has risen to about 41.
  • The Reasi district police released an official statement about the terrorist attack on their official Twitter and Facebook handles.
  • Rescue operations commenced immediately after the incident, and the injured are currently undergoing treatment in hospitals across Jammu & Kashmir.
  • The timing of the attack, coinciding with the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his third term, has sparked grave security concerns in the terror-stricken region of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • President Draupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Union Minister Amit Shah have strongly condemned the terrorist attack and expressed condolences to the families of the deceased.
  • Eleven teams are involved in the massive ongoing search operation in the Reasi district.
  • “We will find them and we will crush them,” said DIG of Udhampur Reasi Range, Rayees Mohammed Bhat, reflecting the determination driving the search efforts.
  • A high-level review meeting was chaired by the Lt. Governor Of J&K, Manoj Sinha, to review the security measures in place.
  • The incident has triggered massive public outrage on social media, with citizens questioning the silence of key public figures and celebrities, while trending the hashtag ‘#AlleyesonReasi.’
  • Visiting pilgrimage sites of deities does not guarantee protection of life. Then, what does?
  • A bus carrying passengers from Shiv Khori to Katra was ambushed by terrorists hiding under thick forest cover, on 9th June 2024 at around 6:10 pm.
  • The driver, Vijay Kumar, was shot in the head, causing him to lose control of the vehicle. As a result, the bus fell into a deep gorge.
  • The area shares close borders with the nearby Rajouri district, which has experienced incidents of terrorism in the past. 
  • Despite the bus falling into a gorge, terrorists continued to fire. It has also been reported that the terrorists waited for the bus to slow down at a turn before opening fire. 
  • The terrorists were reportedly dressed in military combat clothing and have retracted into the upper, denser areas of Reasi and Rajouri, hiding in the forest cover.
  • The tragic incident has claimed 10 lives, including the driver and the conductor, and left several injured. 
  • Local villagers sprang into action shortly after hearing the gunshots, helping the local authorities in an immediate rescue operation.
  • None of the passengers were local residents. They had come into the state for pilgrimages to Vaishnodevi Temple and Shiv Khori Shrine.
  • The SSP of Reasi district police, Mohita Sharma, claimed that they were on high alert after receiving some inputs from agencies and that the Shiv Khori Shrine area had been completely secured. She asserted that even areas close to the Shrine were on high alert. 
  • As part of the ongoing investigations, the survivors are being questioned for details of the incident. Injured passengers later recounted that the terrorists continued firing even after the bus fell into the gorge.
Footage from Reasi Terror Attack in Jummu
  • The CCTV footage minutes before the tragedy shows the bus being closely followed by a jeep, indicating a well-planned attack.
  • This terror attack has sent shockwaves across the country, as the Reasi district was previously regarded as one of the safer areas, unlike Poonch and Rajouri which have been constantly plagued with militant attacks.
  • A massive manhunt has been launched to nail down the assailants.
  • Anti-pakistan protests were seen in the Katra region, Kathua district and Doda as residents are now concerned about the security of not only the locals, but also of tourists . 
  • Though it is suspected that Pakistan’s Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is responsible for the attack, an official statement has not been provided as investigations and search operations are still in progress. 
  • Three off-shoots of the Lashkar and Jaish terrorist outfits, the Resistance Front, People’s Anti-Facist Force (PAFF) and Revival Resistance, initially accepted responsibility for the attack on social media. However, soon after strong public reactions started pouring in, they retracted their statements. 
  • The DIG of Police, Udhampur, Rayees Mohammed Bhat, refrained from naming any terrorist outfit and assured public disclosure once investigations confirm their identity. 
  • The LG of J&K, Manoj Sinha, has assured that culprits will be hunted down and justice will be served soon.
  • The DD News Jammu reported that 10 passengers died in the attack, whereas the number of injured was 33.
  • The current number of injured persons has been reported as close to 41 by several news agencies. 
  • The passengers were not local residents, instead pilgrims from the states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. They were on pilgrimage to Vaishnodevi Temple and Shiv Khori. 
  • Manoj Sinha, the LG of Jammu & Kashmir, visited the injured passengers undergoing treatment at the Government Medical College in Jammu, and the Mata Vaishno Devi Narayan Super Specialty Hospital in Katra.
  • A survivor of the terror attack, from Uttar Pradesh, recounted that the incident occurred while returning from Shiv Khori, just after traveling for 4-5 kms. He confirmed the terrorists opened fire from the front of the bus and the driver was shot first.
  • The driver was martyred on the spot. His mortal remains have been handed over to his family.
  • Another survivor, also from UP, said that after visiting Vaishno Devi Temple, they visited Shiv Khori and the bus was on its way back to Katra when the incident occurred. The terrorists continued to unleash rounds of fire for at least 10-15 minutes, even after the bus fell into the ditch, resulting in numerous additional injuries. 
  • Gonda’s DM, Neha Sharma, confirmed eight devotees in the bus belonged to Gonda. They have been admitted in the Jammu Government Medical College and their status has been updated to their respective families.
  • Rajesh Saini, brother of the injured survivor Pawan Saini, said that the Rescue team informed him about the terrorist attack and that his brother Pawan was being shifted to a nearby hospital, at around 9.30 pm on 9th June 2024. Pawan’s wife and son have lost their lives in this attack.
  • The Office of LG J&K announced an ex gratia of INR 10 lakh for the next of kin of pilgrims martyred in Raesi Attack. Those who are injured will be given INR 50,000 each
  • The district police of Reasi, under the supervision of SSP Mohita Sharma, swiftly rescued all passengers “with the help of local villagers”. The rescue operation was completed by 8:10 pm, and the injured were promptly transported to nearby hospitals for treatment. 
  • Following the evacuation, a massive search operation was launched, with the area being cordoned off. The operation is being jointly led by the Reasi district police, the Indian Army, and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
  • The area around Shiv Khori Shrine has been cordoned off too.

■ Also Read: 26/11 Mumbai Terror Attack: The Heart Wrenching Story of 26/11

  • The National Investigative Agency (NIA) had been entrusted with the responsibility of probing the attack.
  • Based on initial investigative leads, the search operation teams are working along two axes, with a total of 11 active teams. 
  • Several individuals have been detained for questioning, based on local inputs and ongoing investigations. 
Investigating by police on Reasi Terror Attack
  • Authorities suspect the involvement of 2-3 terrorists, with eyewitnesses confirming the presence of at least two attackers. 
  • The authorities in the bordering Rajouri area are also actively participating in the search operation.
  • The dense vegetation in and around the attack site has provided an advantage to the terrorists. To counter this, drones are being deployed to enhance visibility and monitor movement in the dense forest areas.
  • The authorities are going all out with this search operation. A forensic team has been deployed to the investigation site, adding a critical layer of expertise for generating further leads.
  • Additionally, a State Investigative Agency (SIA) team is also closely collaborating to find leads and support the extensive manhunt operation.
  • DIG of Reasi, Rayees Mohammed Bhat, confirmed that automatic weapons were used in the ambush, and the examination of the cartridges is underway.
  • Concluding his media statement, Bhat emphasized, “We will find them and we will crush them,” reflecting the current sentiments of all Indians. 
  • Amidst widespread public anger on the unfortunate incident, strong reactions were also seen from the President of India and other ministers.
  • Draupadi Murmu condemned this “dastardly act”, terming it “a crime against humanity”. She offered prayers for the speedy recovery of those injured.
  • Home Minister Amit shah was “deeply pained by the incident”. He stressed the “culprits of this dastardly attack will not be spared”, as he spoke to the LG of J&K to take stock of the situation. Shah assured that “the local administration is working on a war footing” and offered his condolences to families of the victims. 
  • Former Jammu & Kashmir Deputy CM, Kavinder Gupta, expressed disappointment over “Pakistan trying to spread terrorism” into Indian territories, while analyzing that the keen interest of the locals of PoK to join India could be the cause of Pakistan’s increased efforts in carrying out such terror attacks. Gupta also emphasized Pakistan’s new tactics of using the border areas of Poonch and Rajouri districts as target areas due to the heavy forest cover there.
  • Lieutenant Governor of Jammu & Kashmir, Manoj Sinha, also condemned the attack while addressing media personnel on a visit to meet survivors of this attack. He assured that all efforts are being put into the search operation and the culprits will be nailed down.
  • Congress MP Sachin Pilot expressed sorrow over the terror attack and called it a great cause of concern given that the Lok Sabha Elections have just concluded. He called upon the government to take immediate action and ensure strict punishment against perpetrators.
  • Omar Abdullah, Former CM of J&K and Vice President of the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference party, questioned the government’s claims of restoration of peace in the valley after the abrogation of Article 370. He opined that the only way to restore peace in J&K is to ensure peaceful dialogue between India and Pakistan, and commitment to peace at both ends.
  • Congress leader Ghulam Ahmad Mir expressed sorrow at the loss of lives in this terror attack and concern about the terror attack being conducted in an area which was regarded as an area “unaffected” by militants even in the period of “peak militancy”. Furthermore, he also stated that this incident would have given “goosebumps” to the local residents as Reasi was regarded as a peaceful area. Expressing his doubt over adequate security measures, he also added “if this incident can happen in Reasi, then what could be the future condition of the rest of J&K”.
  • The Reasi terror attack on innocent devotees has sparked widespread public anger and demands for the terrorists to be hunted down.
  • The huge outcry was also visible on social media as citizens trended the hashtag ‘#AlleyesonReasi’ while expressing their anger and condemning the cowardly terrorist attack on pilgrims. 
  • Citizens also questioned Instagram for blocking the hashtag ‘#AlleyesonReasi’, following reports of innumerable posts being blocked by the social media platform. 
  • Following massive uproar of the citizens of India, eminent public figures also took to social media deploring the violence.
  • Local protests against terrorism were observed in several parts of J&K. 
  • A partial bandh was observed in Doda town. Images of burning of tyres emerged as local residents unanimously chanted “Pakistan murdabad” and “Atankwad murdabad”, demanding traitors to be shot down. Emotions of patriotism were running high as crowds chanted “Bharat Mata ki Jai”. The citizens of Doda town demanded accountability from the administration to ensure no such terror activities happen in the future. 
  • Similar sentiments were seen in Ransoo base camp as locals protested against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in the state. Residents emphasized that they are not cowards to be bogged down by Pakistan-backed terrorism and expressed disappointment over the negligence of intelligence agencies and local administration on monitoring terrorist movements, resulting in this incident. 
  • The local residents of Pouni where the incident occurred, expressed concern over this terror attack emphasizing that this is the first attack in several years in the ‘peaceful’ Reasi district and villages located near the attack spot. Elderly residents also expressed their intent to fight the terrorists with whatever weapons they have on hand and urged the local police to support them.

Devout souls consider pilgrimages an indispensable practice in their lives. The firm belief that visiting sacred sites will cleanse their sins and grant them spiritual benefits compels devotees to travel to even the most remote and challenging locations. 

However, despite the belief that one is set to gain from pilgrimages, why do we so often hear about the deaths of devotees during these journeys? When a devotee sets out to visit the divine location of their deity, shouldn’t the deity protect them? Why, then, are so many lives lost each year on pilgrimages? 

These are pressing questions that need to be addressed. The reason lies in a profound truth that most devotees are oblivious to – visiting ‘Teerth’ or religious sites is prohibited in our sacred scriptures. The Holy Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, in Shlokas 23-24 of Adhyay 16, forbids us from undertaking practices that go against the directives of our holy texts, including pilgrimages. What is even more shocking is that ignorant spiritual teachers and scholars often push their disciples to adopt practices that are contradictory to these sacred directives.

Only a Complete Saint possesses the extraordinary capability to decode the hidden wisdom of our scriptures. The Complete Guru (Purna Guru or Tatvdarshi Sant) is the chosen messenger of the one Supreme God Kabir, our true Protector; and is endowed with the authority to bestow God Kabir’s authentic worship to devotees. 

Jagatguru Tatvadarshi Sant Rampal Ji Maharaj is the only spiritual guru in the world Who truly fulfills the prerequisites of a Complete Saint, as outlined in the Holy Shrimad Bhagavad Gita. Sant Rampal Ji Maharaj has effortlessly unveiled the most potent and often-overlooked spiritual knowledge from our scriptures.

One such is the revelation of the most potent ‘Teerth’ of all – the ‘Chitt Shuddh Teerth,’ as documented in the Holy Shrimad Devi Bhagavata Purana. ‘Chitt Shuddh Teerth’ signifies the purification of the soul. It can be achieved only by seeking the refuge of a Tatvdarshi Sant and listening to His divine discourses. The authentic spiritual knowledge and worship imparted by the Complete Saint purifies a devotee’s soul. All other pilgrimages are mere displays of devotion, whereas the most powerful form of pilgrimage is ‘Chitt Shuddh Teerth’.

Discover Sant Rampal Ji Maharaj’s revolutionary spiritual knowledge on:

  • Website: www.jagatgururampalji.org
  • YouTube: Sant Rampal Ji Maharaj
  • Facebook: Spiritual Leader Saint Rampal Ji Maharaj 
  • Twitter: @SaintRampalJiM

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