SRINAGAR – Unknown persons hurled a grenade at a crowd gathered around roadside vendors in Hari Singh High Street (HSHS), Srinagar on Saturday resulting in the injuries to eight civilians, including a woman.
The grenade was lobbed at around 2.30 in the afternoon when number of people were busy purchasing essential items from street vendors in the closed market. The grenade exploded under a car with a big bang. Eight people, all said to be civilians, which include a woman, two motor cycle borne men and an auto driver were injured.
The explosion created fear among those present in the area, who ran in panic for safety and the area was deserted in seconds.
Eyewitnesses said that the Wagonar car under which the grenade exploded suffered a heavy damage. They said if it had not exploded under the car the level of damage could have been higher.
With hundreds of shops lining the street on both sides HSHS is a major commercial centre of Srinagar which is shut since August 5. However roadside vendors sell fruit and vegetable items there these days.
Markets in Srinagar are shut as people have resisted opening them to protest against New Delhi‘s move in August to scrap the special status the Jammu and Kashmir state had under the Indian constitution.
There is anger and discontent among many in Kashmir over that decision. At the time, India blocked phone and internet across the region and sent in thousands of additional troops, imposing curfew-like restrictions to dampen discontent.
New Delhi has said its move was essential to integrate Kashmir fully into India and spur development in the Muslim-majority region, which is also claimed by arch rival Pakistan.
But critics have said India‘s move could push more Kashmiris towards militancy.
A grenade attack in southern Kashmir’s Anantnag town a week ago injured 10 people, police said.