18 injured in Poonch grenade explosion

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 8/14/2016 10:08:22 AM

Angry protests over ‘lax’ security for pilgrims

POONCH, Aug 13: At least eighteen persons including ten Buddha Amarnath pilgrims got injured, sixteen of them seriously, in a mysterious blast in Poonch district, this evening.
Police said that the blast took place on the road outside Bagh Deodi near Dashnami Akhara, base camp of Budha Amarnath Yatra, Poonch at 7.50 PM, this evening.
Eight locals including a Police Constable on duty besides ten Budha Amarnath pilgrims who were returning from College Ground towards Dashnami Akhara were injured in the blast.
The injured were identified as Fazal Ali son of Hamid Rashid, Varsha Devi wife of Rajesh Kumar, Sakshi Dogra, daughter of Rajesh Dogra and Vishala Devi wife of Inder Pal of Shanker Nagar, Poonch, Vipin Kumar son of Krishan Lal of Mangnar, Poonch, Police Constable Mohammad Shakeel, son of Tufail Hussain of Mendhar belt number 622, posted at Police Station City Poonch, Harvinder Singh son of Gurdyal Singh of Mohalla Tarain Poonch, Rohit Kumar son of Bansi Lal of Mohalla Basant Garh Poonch and Amarnath pilgrims Suraj Awasthi son of Munshi Ram, Sandeep Singh Charak, son of Naresh Pal Charak, Arjun Rajput son of Babu Singh and Sanjay Rathore, son of Hukam Chand all residents of Madhya Pradesh, Rinku Thakar son of Karam Singh Thakar resident of Uttar Pradesh, Krishna Devi, wife of Mohan Lal of Talab Tillo, Giri Raj son of Lekh Raj of Jammu, Ashok Kumar son of Chuni Lal of Subash Nagar, Jammu and Rinku Gupta wife of Ashok Kumar of Akalpur, Jammu while one injured pilgrim remain unidentified.
Panic struck in the area after the blast and people ran helter skelter to save themselves. However, locals with the help of police evacuated all the injured to District Hospital (DH) Poonch from where fourteen injured were referred to Government Medical College (GMC) hospital Jammu for advanced treatment. The local administration also requisitioned the services of Air Force Chopper for airlifting the injured to Jammu from Poonch or Rajouri.
As per injured Amarnath pilgrim Suraj Awasthi, he saw a man hurling a grenade towards them from Gujjar Hostel side which exploded with big bang. There was another version of the eyewitness present on the spot who said that some suspicious object was thrown by an occupant from a TATA Sumo bearing registration number JK12-1455 which was passing by the area.
Soon after the blast, police and jawans para-military forces cordoned the whole area. They launched a search operation to flush out the man behind this explosion and to seize the said TATA Sumo on suspicion.
The people staged protest against police for not providing adequate security cover to Budha Amarnath pilgrims and locals in the city outside District Hospital Poonch and demanded handing over the security of pilgrimage to army.
Johny Williams, DIG Jammu-Poonch Range here said, “Nearly 14 people got injured in an explosion occurred few meters short of Akhara Camp late this evening.”
Williams said one of the women got seriously injured in the blast, adding, “A police personnel, pilgrims and some civilians have received the injuries.”
The DIG said that whether it was a crude material which exploded or something else, is being investigated.
Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner (Jammu) Pawan Kotwal said a grenade was thrown in market place in the Poonch city this evening. In the blast, 11 people were injured, one of them critically, he said. While 7 of the injured are locals, 4 others are outsiders.
Police and other security forces, who were on alert due to the Buddha Amarnath yatra in the border district, have cordoned off the area and launched search operation. Further details are awaited, he said.



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