Hizbul triggers blast ahead of Farooq's rally

Hizbul triggers blast ahead of Farooq's rally

Just three days ahead of elections in Srinagar parliamentary constituency, a powerful blast on Sunday ripped through a busy market in Magam area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district, injuring at least 17 persons, three of them seriously.

The blast happened near the venue of an election rally to be addressed by ruling National Conference president and Union Minister Farooq Abdullah. This was the second such explosion during the day to disrupt Abdullah’s rally.

Superintendent of Police Manoj Pandita told Deccan Herald that three people were injured when an explosion occurred under a Tavera vehicle parked in a taxi stand Magam, 30 km from here. “It caused small impact on the road and damage to its left front wheel. As a result of some splinters from the vehicle minor injuries were caused to three people,” he said.

However, unconfirmed reports put the toll of injured at 17. A local English daily Greater Kashmir quoting Block Medical Officer Magam Dr Khalid said 17 persons were injured in the blast. The nature of the blast has not been figured out yet, but the BMO said it might have been a grenade blast.

Abdullah who later addressed the rally while thanking the people said, “Despite a grenade attack you turned out in large numbers. In the morning also a grenade was hurled at my rally in Srinagar. These explosions will not deter me and should also not deter you from coming out and voting for the National Conference.” 

However, his son and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah belied the claims of senior Abdullah and media reports that there was a blast at the rally. “The election rally continues without disturbance and the police are working to ascertain the source of the noise that was heard,” he wrote on Twitter.

Hizbul Mujahideen while claiming responsibility for the attack cautioned people to stay away from rallies. Local news agency KNS quoting Hizb spokesman Baleeg-u-Din’s tele-statement said: “It is a clear warning for them not to take part in any election rally.”

Earlier, another explosion occurred 50 metres from an election rally being addressed by Abdullah in Khanyar area of Srinagar city. However, police said, no one was hurt in the blast.

Abdullah who addressed a gathering of few hundred people after the blast said communalism is not acceptable to the people of Kashmir and they will not remain with India if the country becomes communal.

“India cannot become communal. If it becomes communal, then Kashmir will not remain with it (India). Communalism is not acceptable to Kashmiris,” he said. Srinagar goes to polls on April 30.

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