Reasi attack: 50 detained, search expanded to far-flung areas

JAMMU — Fifty people have been detained in connection with the investigation into the recent militant attack on a bus carrying pilgrims in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said on Thursday.

To ensure a comprehensive probe, the search operation to track down the militants, has been expanded to cover Reasi district’s far-flung Arnas and Mahore areas which were militant hotbeds between 1995 and 2005.

On Sunday, militants opened fire on a 53-seater bus carrying pilgrims when it was en route to the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Katra from the Shiv Khori temple. The bus, ferrying pilgrims from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi, plunged into a deep gorge following the gunfire, killing nine people and injuring 41 others.

Confirming the detention of 50 suspects in connection with the attack, a police spokesperson said it followed an intensive investigation.

“Significant leads have been uncovered, aiding in the identification and capture of those who may be potentially involved in orchestrating the attack. To ensure a comprehensive probe, search operations have been expanded to cover the far-flung areas of Arnas and Mahore,” the spokesperson said.

He said these operations aim to uncover further evidence and apprehend militants who may be hiding in these remote regions.

Police have already released a sketch of one of the militants and announced a cash reward of Rs 20 lakh for information leading to the neutralization of the culprits.

“The law enforcement agencies are committed to bringing the perpetrators to justice and ensuring the safety and security of all residents and visitors in the area,” the spokesperson said.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Reasi, Mohita Sharma urged people to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the authorities immediately. — (PTI)