Driver, conductor of bus cremated amid sloganeering, sombre mood

Body of the driver wrapped in tricolor being shifted to his village in Reasi on Monday.
Body of the driver wrapped in tricolor being shifted to his village in Reasi on Monday.

Shutdowns observed, protests held

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, June 10: Amidst the slogans of `Vijay Kumar Amar Rahe’ and `Shaheed Vijay Kumar Zindabad’, body of the bus driver Vijay Kumar, who was first to be targeted by the terrorists in an attack on pilgrims bus at Kanda, Teryath in Reasi district last evening, was consigned to flames at village Dasanoo, about 15 kilometers from Reasi this afternoon.
Body of the bus conductor Arjun Kumar was also cremated amid sombre mood at village Kandera in Katra.

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Driver and conductor of the bus were only two locals among nine killed in the terror attack. Rest of the dead and injured hailed from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and New Delhi. They were the pilgrims who had come for darshan of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji in Katra and Lord Shiva at Shiv Khori shrine, both in Reasi district.

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Deputy Commissioner Reasi Visheshpaul Mahajan paid tribute to driver and conductor before their bodies were sent to their ancestral villages for cremation.
SHO Reasi Police Station Inspector Chaman Gorkha led the police team in paying tribute to the driver at village Dasanoo. The cremation was attended by large number of people not only from Dasanoo but surrounding villages as well.

Shops closed in Bhaderwah town against the terror attack. -Excelsior/Tilak Raj
Shops closed in Bhaderwah town against the terror attack.
-Excelsior/Tilak Raj

Earlier, bodies of Vijay Kumar, 40, son of Rattan Lal and Arjun Kumar son of Hem Raj were handed over to their families after post-mortem.
Body of bus conductor Arjun Ram was also cremated with people raising slogans like `Arjun Ram Amar Rahe’. Anti-Pakistan protests were also held at various places. Local police and civil officials attended the cremation.
Driver was the first to be hit directly on his forehead by the terrorist with assault rifle in front of the bus after which the bus rolled down into the gorge.
Driver and conductor were the two locals killed in the terror attack. Seven other dead hailed from Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Meanwhile, people at Teryath, Ransu and some other areas of Reasi district held protest demonstration and observed bandh against the terror attack. At several places, effigies of Pakistan and terrorists were burnt by the people. Shops remained closed in Teryath, Ransu and some other areas as a mark of protest against the attack.
People demanded stern action against the terrorists responsible for firing on the bus and targeting the pilgrims.
However, pilgrimage to Shiv Khori shrine continued uninterruptedly. People at Ransu offered water and food to the pilgrims due to bandh in the town. Ransu serves as base camp for Shiv Khori pilgrims from where the people had to trek about four kilometres to the cave shrine for darshan of holy Ice Lingam of Lord Shiva.
There was strong resentment among the people over the attack as they felt that targeting innocent pilgrims was a gruesome incident and the Government must come down heavily on the terrorists.
“Such incidents can also have impact on the pilgrimage,” they observed.
Meanwhile, several organisations held protests in the Jammu region against the terrorist attack on the passenger bus in Reasi.
Shutdown was observed in Kishtwar and Bhaderwah while protests were held at Jammu, Poonch, Rajouri, Kishtwar, Reasi, Doda, Kathua and Udhampur districts.
People demanded that an all-out operation be carried out in the region to clear it of terrorists.