Spurt in terror activities in J&K ahead of HM Amit Shah’s visit

Sumit Sharma. Updated: 9/30/2022 11:16:32 AM Front Page

•Blasts in Udhampur coincides with surgical strike anniv, 2nd blast just 1 hr prior boarding of govt teachers •NIA takes over probe, assess sites; it seems to be an IED blast, says ADG Mukesh Singh

Jammu: Two bomb blasts within a span of eight hours created panic in Udhampur district of Jammu division of Jammu and Kashmir.
This was the third incident of blast in Udhampur town after March 9 this year when a sticky bomb planted at Slathia Chowk in Udhampur exploded causing the death of one person and injuries to 17 other.
The incidents occurred just days ahead of the visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah starting October 4. He was supposed to embark on a three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir on September 30 and hold public meetings in Rajouri on October 1 and Baramulla on October 2. However, the visit was rescheduled.
The first blast took place around 10.30 pm on Wednesday in a passenger bus parked near the Petrol pump wounding two persons who were sitting on the bus, the police said.
The empty bus was parked near a petrol pump in Domail Chowk after its routine day service when the blast took place around 10:30 pm, they said.
Another blast took place in a parked bus at the old bus stand in Udhampur early Thursday morning at 6 AM. No injuries have been reported in the incident so far, the police said.
Eyewitness said that it was a narrow escape for most of the government teachers who board the bus at 7 am on a routine basis from Udhampur for Ramnagar and Basantgarh.
The bus on which the second blast occurred had come from Basantgarh in Udhampur district and was at night halt at the bus stand. It was scheduled to leave for Basantgarh in the morning.
The roof and the backside of the bus (JK14C-3636) were blown away by the blast that occurred on Thursday morning, however, no one was injured, they said. The second blast took place just 4 km away from last night's blast site.
Senior police officers including the Additional DGP, Jammu zone, Mukesh Singh and DIG Udhampur Reasi range Suleman Choudhary were also reached at the blast site.
After the initial investigation, the Additional DGP, Jammu zone, Mukesh Singh, said, “As per the initial probe, it seems to be an IED blast. Investigations are on. These were high intensity blasts. It could be sticky bombs.”
Speaking to reporters at the site of blast in Udhampur, ADGP Singh said the "first explosion took place on a parked bus around 10:30 pm on Wednesday near a petrol pump. Two people sustained minor injuries but are now out of danger".
He said the other blast that took place in the old bus stand area.
Singh said the nature of the blasts was being ascertained, adding probe is being done on various angles.
"The origin of both buses is same (from Basantgarh-Ramnagar area of Udhampur). There is similar class of blast according to initial examination," he said.
He said various teams are working on the case including the army's bomb disposal squad.
DIG Udhampur-Reasi range Suleman Choudary said there was damage to two to three buses in the blasts.
He said the nature of explosives used and other things are under investigation, adding terror angle cannot be ruled out.
He said the injured and other people here are being questioned in this regard.
Teams of police and other security forces have cordoned off the bus stand and all vehicles are being checked thoroughly before allowing them to resume normal daily transport services.
Alert has been sounded by the police and people have been asked to check their vehicles.
A team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) along with Foresnic experts had also reached to investigate the blasts in Udhampur.
The services of Army Bomb Disposal Squad and dog squad had also pressed. The army’s troops from Udhampur’s cantonment area had also reached the spot and cordoned off the area. Within hours after the second blast the Udhampur town was turned into a fort with security men deployed in every nook and corner.
Meanwhile official sources said that the government has handed over the twin blasts case to the NIA.
“Since the blasts have similar nature to that of earlier blasts in Udhampur’s Slathia Chowk and Katra, therefore the case has been handed over to the NIA for probe”, a senior police officer informed The News Now.

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