7 injured in grenade blast
21 January 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Special Correspondent
Srinagar: Even as nobody came out to remember over 50 civilians who had died in the first major incident of bloodshed at Gaw Kadal on January 21 in 1990, a militant's grenade thrown yards away at Budshah Chowk today left seven persons, including four civilians, wounded. Meanwhile, security forces have intensified frisking of people and checking of vehicles to ensure smooth proceedings at the ceremonial parade on Republic Day even as a powerful IED was detected and neutralised near Bakhshi Memorial Sports Stadium today. Informed sources told the Excelsior that an unidentified militant lobbed a hand grenade on a bunker vehicle of CRPF 131 Bn at the crowded Budshah Chowk this afternoon. It exploded under the targeted bunker, causing minor damage to the bullet-proof paramilitary carriage. Seven persons, including four civilians, sustained injuries. They were rushed to SMHS Hospital where doctors referred a CRPF soldier to Bone & Joint Hospital, Barzulla. Even as all others were discharged by tonight, a Police personnel and a civilian were still under treatment and observation. Those injured in the grenade blast were identified as Constable Mohammad Sultan of J&K Traffic Police, Constable Mohammad Abbas of Maisuma Police Station, Constable Sandeep Kumar of CRPF 131 Bn, Mohammad Shafi Shah of Batmaloo, Azad Ahmed Malik of Batwara, Altaf Ahmed Mir of Nowshehra and Mushtaq Ahmed of Poshpora Kupwara. The explosion caused stampede in the crowded Budshah Chowk and Maisuma marketplaces which were bustling with business with reasonable rush of customers, pedestrians and vehicular traffic. This central area of Civil Lines remained disturbed for over an hour even as nobody from the adjoining Maisuma and Gaw Kadal localities came out in remembrance of over 50 civilians who had died in the Valley's first major incident of bloodshed at Gaw Kadal on January 21 in 1990. Meanwhile, Police and security forces have intensified cordon-and-search operations, apprehending 'suspects and potential threats' from their homes, frisking of pedestrians and passengers besides checking of vehicles in advance of the R-Day ceremonies of January 26 in Srinagar and other places in Kashmir valley. Inspite of critical statements from almost all the separatist, pseudo-separatist, mainstream and pseudo- mainstream politicians, these operations have been underway for 'ensuring trouble-free R-Day ceremonies'. Reports of arrests and search operations poured in from various places. In Srinagar and all other major towns in the Valley, Police and security forces were seen frisking the pedestrians and passengers besides checking the vehicles, including those of Government officials, protected persons and political activists. Here in the Capital city, Police and security forces detected a 5-kg IED which had been laid at the bottom of an electric pole outside Bostaan restaurant near Bakhshi Stadium. It was exactly at the same spot that militants had detonated an IED on Independence Day of August 15 last year minutes after then Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed and other VVIPs had driven past after attending a ceremonial parade at the stadium. However, the explosion had failed to cause any kind of damage. Police and security agencies are baffled over the fact that once again militants had managed to plant an IED in an area that remains under round-the-clock surveillance of the CRPF and Police.