The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Thursday arrested a Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist who threw a grenade at a crowded bus stand in Jammu city, Jammu and Kashmir, resulting in a powerful blast that killed one person and injured over 30.
Within hours of the blast, the police arrested Yasir Bhatt alias Arhaan, a resident of Kulgam district in south Kashmir. He was caught by the police while fleeing. Bhatt was tasked to throw this grenade by District Commander of Hizbul Mujahideen in Kulgam, Farooq Ahmed Bhatt alias Omar.
Jammu and Kashmir Police IGP Manish K Sinha said, "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. Yasir Bhatt was tasked to throw this grenade by District Commander of Hizbul Mujahideen in Kulgam, Farooq Ahmed Bhatt alias Omar."
Governor Satya Pal Malik condemned the attack. He announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of the kin of the deceased and Rs 20,000 each to those injured in the incident.
Following the attack, the Jammu and Kashmir Police detained 12 people.
Six of the injured are in critical condition. The injured people were rushed to the Government Medical College and Hospital in Jammu where they are currently undergoing treatment. The blast occurred at around 12 noon.
The deceased, 17-year-old Mohammad Sharif, was a resident of Uttrakhand.
According to sources, a terrorist group in Kashmir has taken responsibility for the attack. The intelligence agencies had already received information regarding a grenade attack and three such inputs found that the terrorists were plotting a grenade attack, said the sources. They added that there are many inputs which suggest terror groups in Kashmir are trying to target Jammu.
Today's attack seems well planned, further added the sources.
Speaking on the grenade explosion MoS Defence Subhash Bhamre said, "Local investigation has been initiated into the incident. The government has already given complete liberty to the forces to take all necessary steps."
"It seems that the grenade was brought from outside and rolled under the bus," said MK Sinha, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Jammu. The grenade reportedly went off under the bus, resulting in the shrapnel being contained to a smaller area, said the police.
The scene of the blast along BC Road has been sealed off by police. Police have launched a massive hunting operation, with sniffer dogs and forensic experts rushing to the spot.
The blast created panic among the people. Eyewitnesses said that a powerful blast took place and they were shocked to see people lying in the pool of blood.
This is the third grenade attack by terrorists in Jammu bus stand since May 2018, viewed by security agencies as an attempt to disturb communal harmony and peace in the city.
Earlier on December 28-29 2018, 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.