The man who threw a grenade on a crowded bus stand in Jammu on Thursday was arrested by Jammu and Kashmir police within hours of the attack.
A teenager was killed and 32 others were injured Thursday in the grenade attack by suspected terrorists in the crowded general bus stand area in the heart of the city.
This is the third grenade attack by terrorists in Jammu bus stand since May last year, viewed by security agencies as an attempt to disturb communal harmony and peace in the city.
Mohammad Sharik, 17, a resident of Hardiwar in Uttarakhand, who was among 33 people brought to the hospital, succumbed to splinter injuries in the chest, the officials said.
The condition of four more injured persons was “critical” and two of them were operated upon by the doctors to save their lives, they said.
The injured included 11 residents of Kashmir, two from Bihar and one each from Chattisgarh and Haryana, the officials said.
A parked bus of the state road transport corporation (SRTC) suffered extensive damage in the blast which caused panic among the people. Immediately after the explosion, people ran to safety and later as the situation returned to normal evacuated the injured to the hospital.
“The blast occurred on the roadside when there was huge rush of people. I had come to drop my wife who was going to board a bus to Punjab,” one of the injured, Kuldeep Singh of the Pragwal area of the city, said.
Singh, who is undergoing treatment along with his wife at Government Medical College hospital for injuries, said he felt that somebody hurled something which caused the powerful explosion.
Main suspect arrested
The person who threw the grenade has been arrested by police, Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbagh Singh said.
Inspector General of Police, Jammu, MK Sinha said preliminary investigation suggested that someone lobbed the grenade in the bus stand area around noon, causing the explosion.
“Teams were constituted to work on leads, CCTV camera footage examined, based on oral testimony of witnesses we were able to identify a suspect. He was detained, his name is Yasir Bhatt, he has confessed to the crime,” Sinha said.
“Yasir Bhatt was tasked to throw this grenade by District Commander of Hizbul Mujahideen in Kulgam, Farooq Ahmed Bhatt alias Omar,” he added.
The scene of the blast along BC Road was sealed off by police and a massive hunt was launched to nab the grenade thrower, Sinha, who immediately rushed to the scene to take stock of the situation, told reporters.
No specific intelligence input
The officer said there was no specific input about such an attack in the city. “General inputs are always there and the deployments have been made. We are working on the leads all the time whenever we get inputs but there was nothing specific about this,” Sinha said.
“Whenever there is heightened state of alert, we strengthen checking and frisking but there is always a possibility of someone slipping through and this one seems to be a case like that,” the IGP said.
“Obviously the intention is always to disturb the communal harmony and peace,” he said and requested the people to maintain calm.
Third grenade attack in Jammu since May 2018
Earlier on December 28-29 last year, suspected terrorists carried out a grenade attack on the bus stand with the intention to target the local police station building, an attack which took place seven months after another grenade attack along the BC Road left two policemen and a civilian injured on May 24, 2018.