Ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s proposed visit to J&K next week, two powerful explosions have rocked Udhampur town since Wednesday night. The police have not ruled out terror hand in the blasts.
The first blast, which took place in a parked bus at Domail Chowk at 10.30 pm on Wednesday, left two civilians injured. There were no injuries in the second blast that happened in another parked bus at the old bus stand at 6.30 am on Thursday.
The injured in the first blast were identified as Sunil Singh (29), of Pringka Ramnagar, and his friend Vijay Kumar, (42), of Jaganoo. Both were sitting in the vehicle’s driver’s cabin at the explosion’s time. They were shifted to Udhampur District Hospital.
Police and security personnel rushed to the spot after the blasts. An investigation is underway.
Speaking to reporters at the blast sites, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Jammu Mukesh Singh said that the blasts occurred in Udhampur within a radius of two kilometres. “Preliminary investigations suggest that these were IED blasts,” he said.
Singh said that police can’t rule out the use of sticky bombs in the twin explosions. “We are exploring and working on some old leads. Army teams, BDS and teams from other agencies have reached the blast sites,” he said.
Official sources said that NIA experts have also reached Udhampur explosion sites and samples have been taken for investigations.
The police and security forces have been maintaining heightened alert in view of the proposed visit of the home minister. During his stay in the Union Territory, Shah will pay obeisance at Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Trikuta Hills near Katra town, besides addressing public rallies in the border district of Rajouri and Baramulla, said the BJP leaders.
The twin explosions have come after nearly six months. On March 9 this year, one person was killed and 17 others injured in an explosion caused by a sticky bomb in Slathia Chowk.
Panic has gripped Udhampur district in the wake of the twin blasts. “The first blast occurred around 10.30 pm on Wednesday. Two people have been injured in the incident and vehicles parked nearby have also been badly damaged. The reason behind the blast is still being ascertained. We are probing the matter,” said Suleman Choudhary, DIG Udhampur-Reasi Range.
In CCTV footage, the bus could be seen parked near a petrol pump in Domail Chowk after its routine day service when the blast took place.
Police and personnel of other agencies took stock of the situation after the incident and a forensic examination was conducted.
Another blast took place in a parked bus at the old bus stand in Udhampur at 6 am on Thursday. No injuries have been reported in the incident so far, the police said. According to reports, the bus had returned from Basantgarh. The footage of the blast went viral on social media.