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Teenager Killed, Over 30 Injured in Grenade Attack at Jammu Bus Stand; Suspect With Hizbul Links Held

This is the third grenade attack by terrorists in Jammu bus stand since May last year, viewed by security agencies as an attempt to disturb communal harmony and peace in the city.

News18.com

Updated:March 7, 2019, 7:27 PM IST
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Teenager Killed, Over 30 Injured in Grenade Attack at Jammu Bus Stand; Suspect With Hizbul Links Held
This man who is accused of grenade explosion at Jammu bus-stand was arrested by police on March 7, 2019.
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Jammu: A teenager was killed and 32 others were injured Thursday in a grenade attack by suspected terrorists in the crowded SRTC bus stand area in the heart of the city.

Police said one suspect named Yasir Bhatt, from Kulgam area of Kashmir, has been arrested for lobbing the grenade. He was nabbed based on CCTV footage and oral testimony of witnesses, Inspector General of Police, Jammu, MK Sinha, said.

Sinha claimed that the accused is suspected to have links with militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, and has confessed to the crime.

Mohammad Sharik, 17, a resident of Hardiwar in Uttarakhand, who was among 33 people brought to the hospital, succumbed to splinter injuries in the chest, officials said. The condition of four more injured persons was "critical" and two of them were operated upon by the doctors to save their lives, they said.

The grenade reportedly went off under a bus, resulting in the shrapnel being contained to a smaller area. The injured were immediately rushed to the hospital.

The injured included 11 residents of Kashmir, two from Bihar and one each from Chattisgarh and Haryana, the officials said.

Sinha said preliminary investigation suggested that the suspect lobbed the grenade in the bus stand area around noon, causing the explosion.

This was the third grenade attack by terrorists in Jammu bus stand since May last year, viewed by security agencies as an attempt to disturb communal harmony and peace in the city.

Jammu blast 1

The scene of the blast along BC Road was sealed off by police and a massive hunt was launched to nab the grenade thrower, Sinha, who immediately rushed to the scene to take stock of the situation, told reporters.

A parked bus of the state road transport corporation (SRTC) suffered extensive damage in the blast which caused panic among the people.

The officer said there was no specific input about such an attack in the city. "General inputs are always there and the deployments have been made. We are working on the leads all the time whenever we get inputs but there was nothing specific about this," Sinha said.

"Obviously the intention is always to disturb the communal harmony and peace," he said and requested the people to maintain calm.

Immediately after the explosion, people ran to safety and later as the situation returned to normal evacuated the injured to the hospital.

Police parties along with sniffer dogs and forensic experts rushed to the spot and launched a search operation to nab the attacker, the officials said, adding the operation was still going on when last reports were received.

Jammu blast

Earlier on December 28-29 last year, suspected terrorists carried out a grenade attack on the bus stand with the intention to target the local police station building, an attack which took place seven months after another grenade attack along the B C Road left two policemen and a civilian injured on May 24, 2018.

"The blast occurred on the roadside when there was huge rush of people. I had come to drop my wife who was going to board a bus to Punjab," one of the injured, Kuldeep Singh of the Pragwal area of the city, said.

The state has been on the edge since 40 CRPF jawans were killed in a suicide bomb attack carried out by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad terror group in Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14. Day after the terror attack, Jammu had witnessed bloody protests with agitators burning vehicles and vandalising shops.

Raising slogans against Pakistan and terrorists, protesters burnt tyres on roads. Demonstrators put up barricades demanding that the attacks be avenged. There was a complete shutdown in Jammu city, with no traffic on roads and all shops and markets closed. A curfew was imposed for nearly four days.

Two months ago, a similar blast had occurred at the main bus stand here. The grenade fell short of the target and exploded in the air, without causing any damage or casualty, an official had said.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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