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10 pilgrims to Vaishno Devi dead, 66 injured in tragic accident; J&K Govt announces Rs 5 lakh ex gratia

By: Yogesh

Jammu, May 30: In a tragic incident, a festive mood turned into a tragedy on Tuesday after the Vaishno Devi bound mundane party pilgrim bus fell into a gorge on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway in which ten pilgrims, most of them from Bihar, were killed and 66 others were injured

As per details available with the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), at about 5:30 am, double-decker bus bearing registration number UP80CT-0999, on way from Amritsar to Katra, Reasi met with an accident and fell from Jhajjar Kotli Bridge into deep gorge after skidding off the road and rammed into the railing of a bridge in Jammu district.

The Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha approved an ex-gratia of Rs. 5 lakh each for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to a tragic bus accident today in Jammu and Rs. 50,000 each for those seriously injured.

He directed the district administration to take care of the treatment and provide all assistance to the bereaved families.

Initially, a driver among eight people were decalred dead in teh incident, however, later the toll went further up and reached ten.

Officials said the bus, which was on its way to Katra from Amritsar, met with the accident in Jhajjar Kotli area on Udhampur road.

“It seems that either vehicle developed mechanical snag, due to which it failed to take diversion for Katra and rammed to the railing of a bridge on Udhampur road or the driver lost way and also failed to manage the speed of the bus,” officials added. Katra is a base camp for the pilgrims visiting the famous shrine atop the Trikuta hills.

For the journey to Katra, the vehicle, carrying ill fated pilgrims, should have taken a left turn nearly two kilometers before the spot of accident, but passengers said the driver seemed to have lost the direction and was probably going to the Udhampur-Srinagar side of the highway.

“The accident took place in the wee hours and. Ten people have died. Police launched a massive rescue operation and shifted all the injured to GMC Jammu,” said Senior Superintendent of Police Chandan Kohli.

“We are investigating the reasons behind the accident,” he said.

Officials said that most of the travellers were from Bihar’s Lakhisarai and were on pilgrimage to Mata Vaishno Devi for a religious function for their child.

“The entire community is about to perform Mundan of their child and group of Bihar residents presenting, residing and working in Amritsar,” official added. They were members of an extended family.

Ravinder Panday, one of the travellers, said they felt that something hit the bus.

“It lost balance and rolled down. The vehicle was on its way from Amritsar to Katra carrying people who were going for pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi,” he said.

Describing the accident, another witnesses said the bus was in the left lane, but it crossed over to the right side after the driver lost control, hit the railing of the bridge. The front wheels came off and got stuck in the parapet of the bridge.

“We were hoping to pay obeisance to Mata Vaishno Devi temple and perform Mundan of our child. We were several families together,” said Ramesh Kumar, who escaped unhurt.

List of deceased

As per police statement, the ten deceased have been identified as driver Ganesh Sharma resident of son of Jagdish Sharma resident of Amritsar, Punjab,  Kailash Sharma age 65 yrs son of Sita Ram resident of Lakhisarai, Bihar, Lalita Devi age 30 yrs wife of Manoj Kumar resident of Amritsar, Punjab,  Krish Sharma age 12 yrs son of Manij resident of  Amritsar, Punjab ,  Arvind Sharma son of Mohinder Sharma resident of Amritsar,  Punjab,  Bimla Devi wife of Meena Sharma,  Phooli Devi wife of Mohinder Sharma resident of Uttar Pradesh, . Kunti Devi age 50 yrs wife of Girdhari Sharma,

Rajinder age 45 yrs resident of Lakhisarai, Bihar and Julli Devi wife of Arvind Sharma resident Bihar.

List of Injured

Moreover, 66 injured have been identified as Rohan Sharma (27) of Lakhisaryi Bihar, Muna Sharma (27)of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Shallu Kumari (18)of  Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Nisha Kumari (17 )of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Lov Sharma (13) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Baso Mistri (60)of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Kunti Devi (50) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Batul Devi ( 50) of  Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Abhishek Kumar (21) of  Lakhisaryi Bihar , Himanshu Sharma (13) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Biba Sharma (28) of  Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Lado (2) of  Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Jaana Sharma (50) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Banarsi Sharma (50) of  Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Lakshman (32) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Dinesh Sharma (40) of  Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Ram Dulari Devi (55) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Pintu Kumar (20) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Radia Devi (60)of  Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Parteema Devi (40)of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Abhishesk (18) Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Nitish (20)of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Poonam Sharma (45)of  Lakhhisaryi Bihar,  Rubi Devi (35) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Nitu Devi (35) of  Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Payal (18) Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Shobha (19) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Geeta Devi (35) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Vikash ( 35) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Parva Devi (60) of  Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Ravinder Panday (63)  of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Unknown male age approx 50 yrs of  Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Gopali Mistri (65)of  Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Chinta Devi (64) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Bittu (20) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Pankaj Kumar (21)of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Nitika (11) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Phool Devi (60) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Ajay Sharma (47)of  Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Nageshwari Devi (60) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Sushant (27) Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Rohit Sharma (23) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Avinash Kumar (29) of  Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Prince (13)  of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Virnder Sharma (65) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Ryansh (4) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Pooja Sharma (35) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar,  Bimla Devi (50) of  Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Manoj Sharma (41) of  Lakhhisaryi Bihar, .Preeti (16 ) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Vinesh Sharma (45) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Rahul (8) of  Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Soni (5) of  Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Rajesh Sharma (35) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar , Malti Sharma ( 26) of  Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Roohi (6 Months) of Lakhisharyi Bihar, Pooja (35) of Lakhisaryi Bihar, Komal Sharma (11) of Bihar, Sarita (12) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Ranjana (35) of  Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Sonu (18) of   Lakhhisaryi Bihar, Ram Brij ( 60) of  Lakhhisaryi Bihar ,

Sarju Devi (35) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar and Ankush Sharma (22) of Lakhhisaryi Bihar.

Condolence

Chairman Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday expressed grief over the loss of lives in a bus accident in the Jajjar Kotli area on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway. In a condolence message, Azad said: “I send my heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved families and wish those injured a speedy recovery.”

Soon after learning about the accident near Katra in Reasi district, Azad asked party leaders and workers to visit the spot and provide all assistance to the injured and victims.

On the directions of Chairman DPAP, General Secretary R S Chib, chief spokesperson Salman Nizami, and District President Jammu (Urban) Gourav Chopra on Tuesday visited the injured in the hospital and extended every possible help.

They also expressed solidarity with the bereaved families and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured—(KNO)

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