Reasi attack: Bus owner wants ‘martyr’ status for driver, teenage conductor | Latest News India

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By Mahtab Ahmad


The owner of the private bus that was attacked by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi, on Tuesday said that its driver and teenage conductor, among nine victims of the terrorist attack, must be declared ‘martyrs.’

Reasi: The bus which plunged into a gorge following a terrorist attack on pilgrims, in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir, Tuesday, June 11, 2024. (PTI)
Reasi: The bus which plunged into a gorge following a terrorist attack on pilgrims, in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir, Tuesday, June 11, 2024. (PTI)

Both the driver, Vijay Kumar (40) and Arun Kumar, his 19-year-old conductor, were locals. The passengers on the 53-seater bus, including the seven other victims, were from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Delhi. The vehicle was on its way from the Shiv Khori temple to the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Katra, when it was fired at by terrorists, and plunged into a gorge on Sunday evening.

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41 other passengers were also injured.

“Vijay was like a family to me…the gentlest, and always smiling. He had been working with me for about six years, and I believe that he deliberately plunged the vehicle into the gorge instead of stopping it on the road to prevent terrorists from killing all its occupants,” Sujan Singh, the bus owner, told PTI in Katra.

According to officials and eyewitnesses, the driver was the first to be hit by a bullet.

“Vijay’s father Rattan Lal died over six months ago. He has (two) small children and there is nobody else in the family to see to their upbringing,” Singh added.

Conductor Arun, Singh noted, had joined the latter’s transport company only a few days before the June 9 attack, and was the only brother to two sisters in a poor family.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has announced an ex gratia relief of 10 lakh each to the next of kin of the victims and 50,000 to each injured.

(With PTI inputs)



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