Hoax News of Student Bus Crash Sparks Panic


Poonch: People heaved a sigh of relief after a school bus with 40 children on board, that was believed to have met with an accident in Rajouri district, returned with all its occupants safe and sound.

“The bus has returned safely. All school children are safe,” additional superintendent of police for Poonch sector Masroor Mir said.

Earlier, a some news channels quoting police officials reported that at least 40 school children were feared dead when a bus they were travelling in fell into a deep gorge in Rajouri.

The Poonch based Gareeb Nawaz Academy School bus was carrying 45 persons on a picnic from Manjakot in Poonch to Peer Ki Gali on the Mughal Road that connects Rajouri with Shopian district in the Kashmir Valley. 
The news sparked panic with worried parents rushing to school for information. Many among the parents were seen wailing. Hours after the news soon turned out to be a hoax calming the situation, reports said. 

Probe Ordered, PSA Likely For Culprits

Rajouri: Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri has ordered a magisterial probe into false news about bus accident causing death of more than 40 students near Chhatapani in Poonch.

The information was spread on whatsapp and also sent to control rooms by some people which led to massive evacuation and rescue efforts. More than a dozen vehicles including ambulances were rushed from Rajouri to reported spot of accident while a similar effort was made by Poonch districts as well.

Officers of district administration contacted the owner of private school in Manjakote and thereafter Driver of vehicle which was reported to be safe and on way back  within hours after report of accident was spread.

“Additional District Magistrate Mumtaz Ali will conduct the Magisterial probe to identify the persons involved in this planned mischief which spread in electronic and social media like a wildfire”, an official said, adding ADM will be assisted by Addl SP Yousaf Choudhary, DIO NIC Sanjay Puri, ARTO Rajouri and General Manager Telecom. The team will also seek assistance from Cyber Wing of Police Department.

More than a dozen persons have been shortlisted for initial questioning to trace the originator(s) of rumour regarding accident.

Pertinently District Administration, Police, Army, Airforce and all agencies were on high alert and initiated rescue and evacuation operation involving massive operations. 

DC Rajouri briefed that persons involved in spreading such a serious kind of rumour are definitely guilty of disturbing security of state and law & order. Such practices if not controlled at this stage could take alarming proportions to cause irreparable damage over controversial issue, he added. It is contemplated to slap Public Safety Act against culprits involved in this incident.

DC Rajouri along with SSP and a dozen senior officers of various departments who responded to the faked emergent situation carried out an exercise to trace the culprits. Suspects are being called for questioning. Report has also been sought from intelligence agencies in this regards. Police are lodging an FIR in the matter. (KNS)





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