At least 14 people including 4 Buddha Amarnath pilgrims were today critically injured following a mysterious explosion outside the Shri Dashnami Akhara temple near Bus Stand Poonch.
The injured were immediately shifted to the District hospital Poonch from where the four critically injured including a woman were shifted to Government Medical College and Hospital (GMC&H) Jammu.
The district administration though tried its best to shift all the injured via chopper but despite repeated attempts the chopper failed to take off from the Bhimber Gali due to bad weather following which it was decided to send injured via road under tight security along with Quick Reaction Team (QRT) till the last report came in.
Reports said that the blast occurred at about 7 pm near a Tata Sumo bearing registration number JK12 1455 which was parked about 100 away in the front of the Dashnami Akhra Temple near Bus Stand Poonch where the Buddha Amarnath Yatris use to stay for night.
The explosion triggered a sense of panic among the thousands of pilgrims and locals who were camping in the ground just 150 meters away from the site near ‘Bagh Deodi’ as there was screams and stampede like situation over there for the next half an hour. The Sumo also suffered damage due to blast.
As per inputs among the injured there were four Buddha Amarnath pilgrims while others included police personal and locals. A woman was said to be most critical and efforts were being made to airlift her to GMC&H Jammu for the advance treatment till the filling of this report.
The GMC&H was also kept on high alert and all the necessary arrangements including blood, medicines and doctors were finalized in advance.
Meanwhile the highly placed sources informed that the explosion was a grenade blast lobbed by some unidentified person probably from the Tata Sumo which has even suffered damaged due to blast owing to which two persons travelling in it were taken into custody by the police and were under interrogation while one of their associate allegedly managed to escape.
Taking cognizance of the incident, police and security agencies sounded a red alert in the region and shut down all the shops and other business establishments in the entire district. Though, the people of the area held strong protest demonstration against the district administration for its failure in providing security to the pilgrims.
DIG Rajouri-Poonch range Johnny Willam said that a light intensity crude bomb exploded between Poonch Akhara and Bus Stand in which about 14 people have received injuries including 4 Buddha Amar Nath pilgrims.
After the incident the security which was already on high alert in Jammu was more tightened with special intensified night vigils and checking. “We are analysing the incident of Poonch and have already maintained high level of security by keeping Anti Suicidal and Anti Bomb Squad ready in Jammu in the backdrop of Independence day and there is no need to be panic at all” said Askhur Wani, DIG Jammu-Kathua road.Sources confirmed that the attack was purely to target the Buddha Amarnath Yatra which began this week and goes to Poonch. The yatris use to stay for night at Dashnami Akhara were today they were mysterious attacked.
The injured have been identified as police constable Mohammad Shakeel, Fazal Ali son of Khursheed Rashid resident of Poonch, Narinder Singh son of Gurdeep Singh resident of Poonch, Sanjay Vapi son of Munshi Raj, Dileep Singh wife of
Manish Pal Singh, Gori Raj son of Lurika Raj and Rinku Dhaker son of Karan Singh Dhaker all resident of Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh, Ashok Kumar son of Chhuni Lal resident of Poonch, Vipul Kumar son of Kausar Lal resident of Mangalnar Poonch, Pushpenja Rani wife of Inder Prakash resident of Shankar Nagar Poonch, Rohit Kumar son of Banshi Lal resident of Poonch and Varsha Devi daughter of Rajesh Kumar resident of Poonch.
“The embers of the attack on Buddha Amarnath Yatra also reached Delhi where the concerning authority of Jammu and Kashmir Affairs in the Home Ministry has called an emergency meeting besides has ordered to keep a team of NSG commandos ready for tacking with any untoward situation in the state” sources added.