JAMMU, May 15: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) today said a detailed forensic probe is continuing to identify the reason for the recent cause of a fire in a passenger bus near Katra town, the base camp for the pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Reasi district.
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Teams of NIA, Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Jammu and Kashmir Police (JKP) are frequently visiting the site of fire and connected areas to gather clues about the incident.
Police sources said they are now waiting for the report of Forensic examination as remnants from the site of fire have been sent to the FSL for the clues.
The Forensic examination can give some clues about the incident especially whether any explosive material was used in triggering fire or it was an accidental fire, sources pointed out.
As of now, police officials said, they are not ruling out anything.
“All possible angles are under investigation but we have not reached to any conclusion so far,” they said, adding things are expected to be clear once the Forensic report is available.
A team of NIA inspected the wreckage of the bus on Saturday and collected samples during their one-and-a-half hour stay at the scene.
“NIA has extended all requisite assistance to J-K Police in the investigation of the case of passenger bus catching fire near Katra on Friday. Detailed forensic probe is continuing to identify the reasons for the cause of fire,” the agency said in a tweet.
Though the survivors and the people residing in the vicinity of the incident spoke about hearing a sound of an explosion in the bus, Additional Director General (ADG) of Police, Jammu zone, Mukesh Singh on Friday said initial probe does not point to use of any explosive.
“The bus caught fire on its way from Katra to Jammu. The cause of fire is not confirmed yet”, Singh had told reporters at the scene of the incident, adding a forensic team is looking into the cause of fire
Four persons were killed and 24 others injured on Friday when a fire ripped apart the moving bus, mostly carrying devotees, near Nomain, about 3 kilometres from Katra, shortly after it left for Jammu from the base camp.
Meanwhile, a rusted mortar shell was recovered from a garbage dump on the outskirts of Jammu today, officials said.
The shell was noticed by some passersby on the roadside garbage dump adjacent to a scrap shop in Kunjwani area on the Jammu-Pathankot highway, the officials said.
On getting information, a police party rushed to the scene, they said, adding the shell was later taken away by the Bomb Disposal Squad after inspection.
The shell was not carrying any explosive and was completely rusted, the officials said.