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Survivor Recounts Horrific Ordeal of Terror Attack on Jammu and Kashmir Pilgrims

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Bhawani Shankar, a survivor of the terror attack that befell pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district, vividly recounted the harrowing moments of the assault on the bus. Shankar, accompanied by his wife Radha Devi and two children – Deeksha and Raghav, had embarked on a journey to the revered Vaishno Devi shrine to commemorate their anniversary.

The family, originally from Delhi’s Tughlakabad Extension, became one of the injured groups in the terrorist ambush, currently under medical care in Jammu and Kashmir hospitals. The attack resulted in nine fatalities and 41 injuries as the bus, en route from Shiv Khori temple to Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Katra, veered off the road and plunged into a gorge near Teryath village of the Poni area of Reasi.

Shankar detailed the events that transpired before the attack, mentioning their itinerary and the sequence of events leading up to the tragic incident. The assault occurred as they were returning from the Shiv Khori temple, amidst a sudden burst of gunfire that threw the bus into chaos and off the road.

The bus spiraled out of control, leading to a tumultuous descent into the gorge, while Shankar, shielding his children under a seat, braced for the worst. The sense of dread was palpable as the bullets continued to rain down from the hills, forcing passengers to huddle together in anticipation of the attack’s cease.

The telling of the ordeal encapsulates the terror that gripped the passengers, with some being thrown out of the bus in the ensuing chaos. Shankar and his children now convalesce in Jammu and Kashmir, where they are receiving treatment for their injuries. His wife, also wounded in the attack, is admitted to another hospital.

Shankar’s narration encapsulates the terror and confusion that gripped the passengers, highlighting the swift escalation of events that culminated in a heartbreaking loss of lives and enduring trauma for the survivors. The collaborative efforts of local forces including the Indian Army, CRPF, and police have been mobilized to track down the perpetrators who are believed to be hiding in the upper reaches of Rajouri, Poonch, and Reasi.

Rachel Adams

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