One person was killed and 29, including a woman injured in a blast after a grenade was tossed at a bus in the general bus stand in the heart of Jammu on Thursday. The condition of five injured is said to be serious.
The person who threw the grenade at the bus stand has been arrested, Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbagh Singh informed.
The killed youth has been identified as a 17-year-old Mohammad Sharik of Haridwar in Uttrakhand.
Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre said a local investigation has been initiated into the incident. He further said the government has given complete liberty to the forces to take all necessary steps.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police has been rushed to the site of the blast.
The Chinese grenade exploded in the bus at about 12 noon. The driver and conductor were among the injured rushed to the Government Medical College, Jammu. The injured include passengers belonging to Bihar, Punjab, Haryana, Uttrakhand, Jammu and the Kashmir valley.
Visuals from the blast site showed the damaged bus of the J&K Road Transport Corporation (JKSRTC) in which the grenade exploded.
The area has been cordoned off by the security personnel. Nature and the cause is being ascertained, police said.
Fifteen suspects have been rounded up for interrogation.
The grenade attack has coincided with the shifting of detained separatist Yasin Malik to the Jammu’s Kot-Bhalwal jail.
Police suspected the JeM outfit behind the attack. Some radicals had threatened revenge during the recent communal tension here when about six cars were burnt.
Police said in the evening that the person suspected to have thrown the grenade has been arrested.
This is the third grenade attack at the bus stand in the past few months, although the security was supposed to be at the top gear following the Pulwama attack in which 44 CRPF personnel were killed.
IGP Jammu MK Sinha said that the police are following leads for further investigation into the matter. Fifteen suspects have been rounded up for interrogation.
Visuals from the blast site showed the damaged bus of the J-K Road Transport Corporation (JKSRTC) in which the grenade exploded. The area has been cordoned off by the CRPF and J-K Police. Forensic experts and dog squad reached the explosion spot to trace the miscreants.
Governor Satya Pal Malik condemned the grenade attack and expressed deep shock and anguish on the killing of a youth. He directed the administration to provide best medical assistance to the injured persons.
The Governor announced ex gratia Rs 5 lakh to kin of the deceased and Rs 20,000 to each injured.
K Vijay Kumar and KK Sharma, both advisors to the Governor, visited the spot to take stock of the situation. The divisional commissioner, deputy commissioner and senior police and civil officers also visited the spot.
This is the third grenade attack in the bus stand during the past few months.
The blast comes at a time when Jammu and Kashmir is on a high alert following the heightened tensions between India and Pakistan in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.
Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti condemned the incident and called for unity to defeat terror elements in the state.
“I condemn this act of terror in the strongest possible terms. My prayers for speedy recovery of those injured. The perpetrators are out there to inflict pain and divide us. Our unity has to be our tool to defeat them,” Mufti tweeted.
The provincial president of National Conference, Devender Rana, visited the hospital to inquire about the wellbeing of injured persons.
The incident comes less than a month after over 44 CRPF personnel were killed and many injured on February 14 in one of the deadliest terror strikes in Jammu-Kashmir when a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) suicide bomber blew up an explosive-laden vehicle near their bus in Pulwama district.
The bus was part of a convoy of 78 vehicles carrying around 2500 CRPF personnel from Jammu to Srinagar.