February 2000 News

Blast kills 4, wound 26 near GGM Science College

11 February 2000
Daily Excelsior

JAMMU: Barely 24 hours after an explosion in Sealdah Express, militants struck again late this evening near GGM Science College on Canal Road by triggering a powerful explosion which killed four people and wounded 26 others, seven of them critically.

Violence broke out following the explosion at 1935 hours as an irate mob clashed with police and subjected the police personnel to heavy stone pelting. The agitated mob shouted slogans against police charging them with total failure on law and order front.

Another group of mob gheroed Tourism Minister Mr Surjit Singh Slathia and Minister of State for Home Mr Mushtaq Lone in the Medical College hospital and forced them to take shelter in the room of Casualty Medical Officer (CMO).

Police sources and witnesses told EXCELSIOR on the spot that a powerful explosion rocked a busy vegetable market opposite the GGM Science College at about 1935 hours when there was total darkness in the area due to power failure and the area was crowded with shoppers. The explosive device, which was stated to be of very high intensity, blasted with a big bang shattering several adjoining buildings and shops and blowing up the parked vehicles.

Tension prevailed on Canal Road and adjoining Jewel Chowk following the powerful blast as traffic screeched to a halt and shopkeepers downed their shutters and fled in panic from the area along with passers-by.

An EXCELSIOR correspondent on the spot saw parts of human flesh lying all over the area. Blood stains were spilled in a vast portion of the market. Such was impact of the explosion that building and shops in the entire area were rattled.

Police officials including IGP Jammu Mr R V Raju, SSP Jammu Mr M A Anjum and SP City Mr Johnny Williams reached the site of accident only to face a hostile crowd which greeted cops with stones and anti-police slogans.

A large number of people, mostly youths, who had gathered on the spot shouted slogans against police officers, Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah and BJP leaders holding them responsible for the blast. A BJP leader on the spot was also heckled by the crowd.

Mob subjected the police and para-military personnel to stone pelting. Police used mild lathicharge to disperse the agitated crowd. Protestants also smashed wind screens of some mini-buses and three-wheelers on the Canal road to lodge their protest against the explosion.

However, normalcy was restored on the spot after about half an hour.

The victims were shifted to Medical College hospital in three-wheelers and other vehicles. Three persons had died on the spot while another injured succumbed to his wounds in the hospital. A total of 26 injured were brought to the hospital and 21 of them were admitted. Doctors attending on the injured described condition of seven of them as serious.

Impact of the explosion could be well-gauged from the fact that parts of human flesh fell inside some adjoining houses. Window panes of over a dozen houses and shops were damaged while several parked vehicles were blown up under the impact of blast.

A large crater was caused by the explosion.

SSP Jammu Mr M A Anjum said police was working on different theories to ascertain the nature of explosive device. Preliminary investigations indicated that blast was caused by a very powerful IED planted near a rehri.

However, Mr Anjum said, there was another possibility that explosive device was thrown at the spot by the militants riding on a scooter. "At present, we are investigating both the theories", he said, adding a conclusion could be drawn only after detailed investigations which had already been launched.

Some of the eye-witnesses told police that a youth stood close to a kiosk and then disappeared. Few minutes later, the blast occurred. However, some other people said they saw the unidentified militants throwing an explosive device towards the area and fled away.

There was total darkness in the area due to routine power cut. Police said it wasn’t possible to check the movement of anti-national elements during total darkness in the area. "We had repeatedly been protesting against power cuts during the night hours as these could give an easy access to the militants to strike", a senior police officer said, adding ‘our apprehensions ultimately came true’.

Meanwhile, a group of agitated youths gheroed Tourism Minister Mr Surjit Singh Slathia and Minister of State for Home Mr Mushtaq Ahmed Lone in the Medical College hospital, where they had gone to see the injured.

Mr Slathia and Mr Lone had to take shelter in the CMO’s room. Agitated mob including activists of Hindu Shiv Sena led by Mr Krishan Manhas shouted slogans against Ministers in the hospital premises creating tension for sometime.

However, police officials, present on the spot, pacified the mob.

Meanwhile, a gloom prevailed in the entire locality where militants triggered off a powerful blast this evening. Amidst chaos and confusion, some women were bawling as they failed to locate their dear ones while some other females were asking people to take them to Government Medical College Hospital where injured and deceased were shifted.

A bearded youth was loudly crying that he had lost his nephew in the blast. His wailing repeatedly rented the air. With tears streaming from his eyes, he was pointing towards the spot where blast occurred.

The small vegetable market located just opposite Government Gandhi Memorial (GGM) Science College, which always witness hustle -bustle of customers in the evening virtually turned into a death field-depicting goriest face of the terrorism.

The market was virtually turned into a pool of blood. Mutilated human limbs were shattered all along the market and people were seen collecting these limbs.

Two badly mutilated bodies-one was headless were lying on spot. With pieces of the cauliflower, a human face with blood streaming from it, was also lying on the road.

The ‘alert policemen’ were watching from a long distance as enraged people were shouting slogans against police, State Government and Central Government.

The situation was worst at Government Medical College where injured were shifted for treatment. There was virtual tumult out-side the Emergency Ward where a ‘self-styled’ leader was addressing the youth who had gathered there to donate blood for the injured. Shockingly instead of assistance medical authorities in rendering treatment to the injured, that self-styled leader was creating confusion out-side the Emergency Ward.

In the premises of the Hospital, parents and relatives of the injured were locating their dear ones.

As hospital authorities identified one of the deceased, his relatives resorted into wailing and crying. Authorities were repeatedly making announcement regarding identification of the injured but people were seen making repeated attempt to enter Emergency Ward to inquiry about their relatives and dear ones.

List of dead and injured

  • Dead:- Munish Sharma S/o Bodh Raj R/o Krishna Nagar, Parkash Pardhan S/o Loki Nath R/o Orissa presently Krishna Nagar, Sanjay Kumar S/o Lal Chand R/o Krishna Nagar, Ashwani Kumar S/o Sansar Chand R/o Krishna Nagar

  • Injured:- Shankar Dass S/o Des Raj R/o Ram Nagar, Pinki W/o Balkar Singh R/o Canal Road, Jammu, Ashwani S/o Sansar Chand R/o Krishna Nagar, Naryan S/o Ganjan R/o near Ravi Dass Mandir, Jung Bhadur S/o Beli Ram R/o Gandoo Di Chowani, Shamsher S/o Beli Ram R/o Gandoo Di Chowani, Sanjay Kumar S/o Joginder Kumar R/o Krishna Nagar, Subash Chander S/o Kasturi Lal R/o Krishna Nagar, Sunny S/o Jung Bahadur R/o Gandoo Di Chowani, Behari Lal S/o Manga Ram, R/o Krishna Nagar, Basant S/o Lakhan R/o Krishna Nagar, Naresh Kumar Gupta S/o Bishamber Dass R/o near Pacca Gharat, Romesh Kumar S/o Thoru Ram R/o Prem Nagar, Sunil Kumar S/o Thoru Ram R/o Canal Road, Chaman Lal S/o Rattan Chand R/o Krishna Nagar, Hem Raj S/o Faju Ram R/o Krishna Nagar, Tarlochan S/o Ujjal R/o Jewal Chowk, Romesh Chand S/o Baskahi Ram R/o Rajinder Bazar, Yesh Pal S/o Munshi Ram R/o Bhagwati Nagar, Ram Lal S/o Mani Ram R/o Krishna Nagar, Gurdev Singh S/o Prem Singh R/o Talab Tillo.

 

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