Jammu: Nine people were on Saturday injured in two back-to-back explosions in a busy locality on the outskirts of Jammu city the winter capital of Jammu & Kashmir, officials said.
Police suspect that IEDs were used to carry out the twin explosions in an SUV parked in a repair shop and in a vehicle at a nearby junkyard at Transport Nagar area of Narwal. The attack comes at a time when security agencies in the region are on high alert in the wake of the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra of the Congress party and the upcoming Republic Day celebrations.
Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha strongly condemned the incident and directed agencies to take urgent steps to nab the culprits.
“A blast occurred in an old, parked Bolero (Sports Utility Vehicle) around 11 am resulting in injuries to five people who were standing nearby. They were evacuated to hospital and their condition is stable,” Additional Director General of Police, Mukesh Singh told reporters near the scene of the explosion.
He said the whole area was immediately cleared of the people but in the meantime another blast occurred 50 metres away, causing minor injuries to one more person who was also shifted to hospital. “Further investigation is on,” the officer said. However, a total of nine persons were brought with splinter injuries to Government Medical College (GMC) hospital following the blasts. “We have received nine patients with one having abdominal injuries and two others fractured legs. The condition of all of them is stable,” a doctor at the hospital said. The Bharat Jodo Yatra entered J&K’s Kathua district on Thursday evening via Punjab and is camping in Chadwal, about 70 km from here. After a day’s break on Saturday, the yatra, which commenced from Kanyakumari on September 7, is scheduled to resume from Hiranagar on Sunday and reach Jammu on January 23.
An official identified the injured as Suhail Iqbal, Vishav Partap, Vinod Kumar, Arjun Kumar, Amit Kumar, Rajesh Kumar and Aneesh – all residents of Jammu – and Sushil Kumar of Doda.
The officials on Saturday said the whole area was cordoned off by joint teams of police and CRPF immediately after the first explosion which was followed by another blast 15 minutes later. A thorough sanitisation operation was carried out and forensic experts, bomb disposal squad and sniffer dogs were also pressed into service to look for clues, they said. Jaswinder Singh, an eyewitness, said the first blast occurred in a vehicle that was at a workshop for repair. About 15 minutes later, another explosion took place in the area littered with damaged parts and garbage, said Singh, president of the Motor Spare Parts Association. Raj Kumar said he was working on another vehicle when the blast ripped apart another parked vehicle. “We initially thought that the petrol tank of some vehicle exploded but the blast was so powerful that it blew up the vehicle,” he said.