JAMMU: At least 18 people have been injured in a powerful grenade explosion at the main bus stand in Jammu on Thursday afternoon. The blast at the bus stand, which is in the heart of Jammu city, left several bus drivers and conductors and civilians injured.
According to police, the grenade was rolled under a bus, which reportedly went off injuring many persons.
''It was a grenade explosion, it has caused injuries to approximately 18 people. All have been shifted to hospital,'' said MK Sinha, IGP Jammu, on blast at the bus stand.
Though it is still unclear as to who is behind the grenade attack at Jammu bus stand, the J&K Police suspects it to be the handiwork of Jaish-e-Mohammed over-ground workers.
Today's grenade attack comes days after a bus carrying CRPF personnel was attacked by a Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide bomber, which resulted in the killing of at least 40 troopers.
In a retaliatory action, the Indian Air Force (IAF) had carried out airstrikes targeting a major JeM training camp in Pakistan's Balakot on February 26 in which a large number of terrorists were eliminated.
The J&K Police sources told Zee Media that today's attack on the Jammu Inter-state bus terminal could be an act of revenge taken by the Pakistan-backed JeM against the IAF airstrikes in Pakistan.
Rattled with the ongoing encounters in J&K and the tough stand taken by the Government of India against Pakistan and terror operators, the Pakistan-backed terrorists want to disturb peace and harmony in the state and have been making several failed attempts to target the security forces and military installations.
Since the Pulwama attack, the state has been on a maximum alert and the security forces have increased patrolling and surveillance in sensitive areas. A day after the terror attack, Jammu witnessed bloody protests with agitators burning vehicles and vandalising shops.
The attack is also being seen in the light of ongoing protests by several parties against the Center's decision to ban Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir over alleged anti-India activities.
The Centre government had last week declared JeI as “an unlawful association whose activities have the potential of disrupting the unity and integrity of India,” and banned it for five years under anti-terror laws.
In addition, three leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami were arrested and nearly a dozen assets sealed during raids across six districts of Jammu region on Sunday. The raids on the offices and houses of Jammat leaders and activists were conducted in Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Poonch, Rajouri and Jammu districts, during which a large number of incriminating documents were seized for scrutiny.
What has further aggravated the situation in J&K, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik has been booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) and lodged in Jammu's Kot Balwal jail.
Yasin Malik, one of the most prominent Kashmiri separatist leader, was detained on February 22 and kept at Srinagar's Kothibagh police station.
Two months ago, a similar blast had occurred at the main bus stand here. The grenade fell short of the target and exploded in the air, without causing any damage or casualty, an official had said.