June 2001 News

Four civilians killed in grenade attack

4 June 2001
The Pioneer
Khursheed Wani

Srinagar: It was a pool of blood. Moments after a grenade exploded at a crowded local bus stand in Srinagar on Monday morning, dozens of civilians were seen knocking down on ground like lame ducks. The killer splinters caught them unawares and pierced through their bodies. Four civilians including two women died instantly, while 25 others were wounded, many of them critically. The injured included several women besides, a 9-your-old boy, who was on his way to school when incident occurred. Eyewitness as also the official sources said that the gory incident took place when unidentified persons lobbed a grenade towards a BSF bunker at 10.35 am. The grenade fell short of its intended target and exploded in the centre of the busy thoroughfare at the entrance of the bus stand. The incident happened when the traffic was peaking and people were pouring in crowds from countryside after the weekend holiday to start their daily chores in the summer capital. The entire area gripped in glom after the gruesome incident and traffic remained off the roads for half-an- hour. Batamaloo is the end point to all roadlinks connecting Srinagar to various locations of north, south and central Kashmir. The deceased have been identified as Jana Begum, Muhammad Yousuf and Mohiuddin Wani, all residents of central Kashmir. The body of another woman victim could not be identified till late in the evening. The injured were immediately rushed to Barzulla, SMHS and Soura hospitals where the condition of seven was reported serious. A 9-year-old schoolboy was shifted to Soura hospital in an unconscious state. Many injured got trampled in the pell-mell that occurred in the aftermath of blast. Batamaloo blast happened two days after a similar explosion that occurred in the market place of North Kashmir Kunwan town on Saturday two persons were killed and a dozen other injured in the destructive blast. Even though the State officials blamed separatist militants for the grenade attacks, no militant organisation has claimed responsibility for the act so far. Inspector General of Police Kashmir Dr Ashok Bhan told The Pioneer that 19 civilians were killed and 201 others injured in 10 incidents of grenade attacks since January 2001. He blamed militants for creating havoc by exploding grenades at public places. In another incident, a senior BSF officer was killed in exchange of fire between militant and security forces at Lchoo village in south Kashmir. According to sources a party of BSF jawans raided a militant hideout during Sunday night after receiving a tip off about the presence of militants. The raiding party was fired upon by militants. A flying bullet hit officiating commanding officer R S Ahlawat in his chest resulting in his on the spot death. A civilian was also injured in the exchange of fire, official sources said. Militants killed a high ranking counter insurgent Muhammed Altaf Shah. Altaf had been working with special operations group of State police for last 8 years. A confident counter-insurgent leader and chief of Lkhwan Hilal Haider was killed by militants at his residence in Anantnag on Monday afternoon. Suspected militants tossed a grenade towards a security picket at Safa Pora in north Kashmir. The grenade missed the target and fell in front of the picket causing injuries to three pedestrians. The injured were later rushed to a local hospital. Army gunned down an unidentified militant in a hideout at Wadwan forest in frontier district Kupwara during a search operation, official sources said. Militants lobbed grenades towards security forces pickets in Zaina Kadal and Pather Moojid area in old Erinagar. Three civilians were injured in the blasts.

 

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