Katra bus tragedy: Sticky bomb used for blast, say intelligence sources

The fire incident on a pilgrim bus in Katra , that killed four and injured 22 others, was a terror attack, top intelligence sources told New...

The fire incident on a pilgrim bus in Katra, that killed four and injured 22 others, was a terror attack, top intelligence sources told News18. Sources also said that a sticky bomb was used for the blast on the bus heading to Mata Vaishno Devi shrine base camp.

According to eyewitnesses, the fire had started after a mysterious blast inside the vehicle on 12 May. Several people had suffered burn injuries.

The sticky bomb was attached near the fuel tank of the bus full of pilgrims, sources said.

A specially trained NIA explosive team visited the spot around 3.30 PM and collected samples during their one-and-a-half-hour stay there, the officials said.

They said the team was briefed by a senior police officer about the incident.

The NIA and intelligence teams had visited the incident site and had detected traces of RDX in the bomb. Moreover, a traveller gave a dying declaration that he heard the explosion before the fire.

Though the survivors and the people residing in the vicinity of the incident spoke about hearing an explosion in the bus, Additional Director General (ADG) of Police, Jammu zone, Mukesh Singh, who inspected the scene, said the initial probe does not point to use of any explosive.

"The bus caught fire on its way from Katra to Jammu. The cause of the fire is not confirmed yet," Singh had told reporters, adding a forensic team is looking into it.

Expressing grief over the incident, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs one lakh to the seriously injured.

The National Conference and the Congress have expressed shock and grief over the incident and demanded a probe.

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and vice president Omar Abdullah condoled the loss of and prayed for fast recuperation of the injured.

It is expected that the concerned departments will depute a team to ascertain the causes behind the tragedy," the former chief ministers said in a joint statement.

Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma termed the incident as heart-wrenching and said an in-depth investigation is needed to rule out any mischief.

With inputs from agencies

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