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September 29, 2022 10:24 pm

Two Back to Back Blasts Rock Udhampur Ahead Of HM’s J&K Visit

Jammu- Suspected militants triggered a blast in a parked bus in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur early Thursday, nine hours after a similar explosion took place in the city but there was no casualty, police said.

Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Jammu region Mukesh Singh visited both the sites and said high explosives might have been used in carrying out the blasts which were of the same pattern.

“Initial examination points towards use of high explosives,” he said, adding a probe is on to ascertain whether it was the handiwork of militant modules.

The roof and the backside of the bus were blown away by the blast that occurred around 5.30 am but no one was injured, police said.

The explosions took place days ahead of the visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah from October 4. He was supposed to embark on a three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir on September 30 and hold public meetings in Rajouri on October 1 and Baramulla on October 2. However, the visit was rescheduled.

Speaking to reporters at the site of the blast in Udhampur, ADGP Singh said the “first explosion took place on a parked bus around 10:30 pm on Wednesday near a petrol pump. Two people sustained minor injuries but are now out of danger”.

He said the other blast took place in the old bus stand area.

Singh said the nature of the blasts was being ascertained, adding a probe is being done on various angles.

“The origin of both buses is the same (from Basantgarh-Ramnagar area of Udhampur). There is a similar class of blast according to the initial examination,” he said.

He said various teams are working on the case including the army’s bomb disposal squad.

Police said the bus came from Basantgarh area of the district and was on night halt at the Udhampur bus stand. It was scheduled to leave for Basantgarh in the morning.

The top portion and backside of the bus (JK14C-3636) were blown up due to the impact of the blast.

DIG Udhampur-Reasi range Suleman Choudary said there was damage to two to three buses in the blasts.

He said the nature of explosives used and other things are under investigation, adding terror angle cannot be ruled out.

He said the injured and other people here are being questioned in this regard.

Teams of police and other security forces have cordoned off the bus stand and all vehicles are being checked thoroughly before allowing them to resume normal daily transport services.

Alert has been sounded by the police and people have been asked to check their vehicles.

The first blast took place at Baigra petrol pump in Domail area on Wednesday night. Two injured in the blast have been identified as Sunil Singh of Kawya Pringla (Ramnagar) and Vijay Kumar of Jaganoo. Both are admitted in the district hospital in Udhampur.

Sunil Kumar said the explosion took place as they returned to their bus after dinner. He added the roof of the bus was damaged. “I was sleeping when blast woke me up. I was hit by broken pieces of glasses and was bleeding. Police took me to hospital.”

High Alert Sounded In Jammu

Meanwhile security forces accompanied by sniffer dogs carried out an extensive search of the inter-state bus terminal here after suspected terrorists triggered a blast in a parked bus in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur district early Thursday, officials said.

A high alert has been sounded in the Jammu region after the blast.

Loudspeaker-fitted police vehicles were make announcements in Katra and Ramnagar towns asking pilgrims, locals and commuters to keep an eye on suspected objects and persons.

The special operations group (SOG) of J-K Police armed with sniffer dogs carried out searches and a sanitisation operation in the bus stand area of Jammu city, the officials said.

Security was beefed up at the bus stand and vehicles coming into the city were being searched at various checkpoints, they said.

In Katra town, the base camp of Mata Vaishno Devi cave shrine located in Trikuta hills, security was tightened to ensure a smooth yatra during Navratri. Thousands of pilgrims arrive in the holy town daily from various parts of the country to pay obeisance at the cave shrine.

In the Ramnagar area of Udhampur district, where the blast took place, police swung into action and carried out search of buses and other public transport vehicles.

Similar searches were carried out in Kathua, Samba and Reasi districts, the officials said.

In Rajouri, where Union Home Minister Amit Shah is scheduled to address a rally on October 4, a high-level security setup has been activated in and around the venue of the event, they said.

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