Srinagar, Nov 26: Two people were killed and at least seven others injured in twin grenade blasts which rocked Srinagar and Anantnag districts on Tuesday.
In one of the incidents, a sarpanch and a government official died on the spot when unknown gunmen hurled a grenade and opened fire outside a Panchayat Ghar in Hakura-Budasgam area of Achabal, Anantnag.
The gathering of people was part of the ongoing phase-two of government’s ‘Back to Village’ programme.
A police official identified the deceased as Syed Rafiq, Sarpanch Hakura, and Shiekh Zahoor, an Agriculture officer of SK colony, Anchidora, Anantnag.
At least, two other civilians were injured in the incident, he said.
The Additional Deputy Commissioner of Anantnag, who was leading the meeting with villagers, was escorted out of the venue safely as security personnel engaged with the militants, the official said.
“A grenade was lobbed at the gathering followed by close-range firing apparently using a 9mm pistol,” SSP Anantnag, Altaf Khan told The Kashmir Monitor.
Both the deceased were shot in the head and must have died on the spot, said Medical Superintendent Anantnag District Hospital, Dr Majid Meerab.
“The other two wounded had splinter injuries and are stable,” he added.
Eyewitnesses said there was total chaos in the area as people fled for their safety.
Soon after, police and paramilitary forces launched a cordon and search operation in the area to trace out the attackers.
The Anantnag incident took place a few hours after a similar blast in Srinagar.
At around 1 pm, unknown persons hurled a grenade in the market right outside the Sir Syed Gate of Kashmir University in Hazratbal, injuring at least five people.
A Srinagar police official said there was a lot of hustle and bustle in the market when a low intensity blast took place.
“It seems the blast was aimed to scare the people and the shopkeepers,” the official said.
At least five civilians, the official added, suffered splinter injuries in the incident and were shifted to the nearby JLNM hospital.
“The area was very crowded as most of the shops were open and there was good rush of students as well. All of a sudden, I heard a huge blast and fell down on the floor, only to realise after some minutes that I was bleeding from my face,” said one of the injured admitted at JLNM.
“Preliminary investigation suggests it was a grenade blast meant to scare people in the busy market,” said DIG Central Kashmir Range, VK Birdhi.
Tuesday’s blasts are another addition to the spate of grenade attacks that have recently occurred in Srinagar and other districts of Kashmir.
The valley is on the edge since August 5 after government of India abrogated Article 370, and divided and downgraded the state of J&K into union territories of J&K, and Ladakh.
A cowardly act: Div Com
Srinagar, Nov 26: Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan Tuesday condemned the Hakura militant attack and termed it a “cowardly act.”
On Tuesday, two people including a sarpanch were killed in a grenade attack in Hakura-Budasgam area of Achabal, Anantnag during an event observing the second phase of government’s ‘Back to Village’ programme.
The Div Com said the act was aimed at “threatening” the people involved in the government’s ‘Back to Village’ programme.
“Back to Village is an important programme, which is aimed at serving public by understanding their developmental needs, filling the development gaps and addressing the problems of people. The Hakura attack was a cowardly act by militants,” Khan added.
He said the attackers will be punished.
“This act was committed to deter us. But let me tell them that Back to Village programme will continue with full swing. Whosoever is involved in this heinous crime will be brought to justice very soon,” the Divisional Commissioner said.
The deceased were identified as Syed Rafiq, a Sarpanch of Hakura village , and Shiekh Zahoor, an Agriculture officer of SK colony, Anchidora, Anantnag.
Both the deceased were shot in the head and were declared brought dead by the Anantnag district hospital administration.