One injured in attack on teleco facility

One injured in attack on teleco facility

One civilian was injured when militants hurled a grenade at a mobile tower in old city on Monday.

Reports said unidentified militants lobbed a grenade at the tower, located in a residential compound in Habbakadal area of old city, injuring one civilian identified as Imtiyaz Ahmad. The compound, owned by Abdul Ahad, houses two mobile towers. The blast caused damage to a private car parked in the compound.

Eyewitnesses told Deccan Herald the blast caused panic in the area as security forces rushed to the spot. The police said they were investigating the matter and analysing the nature of the explosive.

The attack, first of its kind in Srinagar city, comes days after militants killed two people associated with telecom sector in north Kashmir’s Sopore town, resulting in disruption of telecommunication services in many parts of Baramulla district. Hitherto unknown militant outfit Lashkar-e-Islam had on Friday asked all cellular companies in the Valley to wind up their operations within one day “failing which they would be targeted.”

While the police maintain Hizbul Mujahideen is behind the attacks, militants and separatists blame intelligence agencies for the attacks.

Hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani on Sunday asked the United Jihad Council, a conglomerate of militant groups operating in J&K, to clear whether they  are a militant group. “People should be informed. It is a very serious situation and it should be made clear who are these people?” he added. However, the police maintain that Lashker-e-Islam could be a front of either Hizbul or Lashker-e-Toiba outfits.  “There is no past record of Lashker-e-Islam. Militants in the past have also been using such tactics to save their skin from public outcry,” the police said. Srinagar heads for breakdown

Immediately after the attack, BSNL franchise outlets and Tower Landlords Welfare Organisation decided to shut down their operations, DHNS reports. The BSNL franchisees operating in ten districts of Valley have also closed their outlets after the re-surfacing of threat posters and attacks on people associated with telecommunication sector. With this, the sub-franchises and retailers “wound up” their business due to which prepaid BSNL subscriber were able to recharge cell phones since Monday.The telecommunication system in the Valley has been badly affected following a spate of attacks against telecom employees and those who have rented out space for installation of cellphone towers.

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