On Thursday, March 7, morning, a grenade exploded at a bus stand in Jammu and injured 32 people. A terrorist belonging to Kashmiri militant group Hizbul Mujahideen is allegedly behind the attack, which took place at the main inter-state bus stand.
Inspector-General of Jammu Police Manish Kumar said the injured include residents of Jammu as well as Kashmir.
Who are the Hizbul Mujahideen?
The Hizbul Mujahideen is a militant separatist group in Kashmir, formed in 1989.
The BBC reports that this group has close ties not only with ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence agency, but also with Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
It was one of the first and largest groups of its kind to operate out of Kashmir.
However, over the years, it has internally fought and disagreed over its strategy against Indian armed forces. It has also decreased in size.
Currently, Hizbul Mujahideen Chief Syed Salahuddin is struggling to keep his ranks together, because most of his members have retired from militant activities.
Details of the attack
After reviewing CCTV footage, the police were able to zero in on the suspect. NDTV reports that the suspect’s red rucksack helped to identify him.
He told the authorities that Hizbul Mujahideen paid him Rs 50,000 to hurl the grenade. After carrying out the order, Bhatt tried to abscond to Kashmir but the police apprehended him.
Besides injuring 32 people, the explosion killed two, including a teenager around Bhatt’s age.
Reports say that 17-year-old Mohammad Sharik from Haridwar died from splinters lodged in his chest. The other victim was 32-year-old Kashmiri Mohammad Riyaz who died in the Government Medical College hospital.
Speaking to the Hindu, he said, “The explosion, which took place around 11:50 am, left 32 injured and one local and one non-local dead in hospital. Of the injured, 10 were from Jammu region and 11 from Kashmir Valley. The rest remain unidentified.”
This inter-state bus stand has often been the target of such terrorist attacks.
The Kashmir region has also been rocked with violence and unrest lately; the reason behind that is the deadly Pulwama terror attack, which killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force jawans. Jaish-e-Mohammad took responsibility for the attack.
Following this, however, Indo-Pak tensions have escalated.
Rhea Arora is a staff writer for Qrius.