One civilian was killed and 32 were injured in a grenade explosion at the main inter-state bus stand in Jammu on Thursday. The suspect, affiliated to the Hizbul Mujahideen, was held within hours, according to the police.“The explosion, which took place around 11:50 a.m., left 32 injured and one non-local dead in the hospital. Of 32 injured, 10 were from the Jammu region and 11 from the Kashmir region. Two injured remain unidentified,” said Inspector General of Police, Jammu, Manish Kumar Sinha. The deceased was identified as Mohammad Sharik, 17, from Uttarakhand’s Haridwar, who died “due to splinter injuries in the chest”.
The police said the grenade was tossed and apparently rolled under a parked bus, before it went off with a bang. IGP Sinha said CCTV footage showed the suspect wearing a red jacket and carrying a rucksack running from the spot.
“Within hours, the suspect, identified as Yasir Javeed Bhat alias Arhan from Kulgam’s Halpora, was arrested at a check point set up at Jammu’s Nagrota. During the questioning, he admitted to the crime,” said IGP Sinha.
The police said Bhat had left the Valley on Wednesday and arrived in Jammu on Thursday morning. “Bhat was on the way back to Kashmir valley when he was arrested. Preliminary investigation suggests that Hizbul Mujahideen’s Commander Farooq Ahmad Bhat alias Umar had tasked him to carry out the attack. Further investigations are going on,” said IGP Sinha.
Thursday’s attack was third such blast in Jammu since May last year. It comes weeks after two communities clashed in Jammu city in the wake of the Pulwama attack on February 14.
“It’s a cowardly act of the miscreants. People of Jammu division need to rise above party levels and work together in fighting the mischievous elements,” said the Jammu Muslim Front (JMF) in a statement.
Governor Satya Pal Malik, who condemned the attack, announced compensation for the families as an ex-gratia of Rs. 5 lakh for the deceased and Rs. 20,000 for injured people.