IED defused near Jawahar tunnel in J&K | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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IED defused near Jawahar tunnel in J&K

chandigarh Updated: Jul 12, 2012 17:47 IST
Ashiq Hussain

An improvised explosive device (IED) planted by militants was recovered on Wednesday night metres away from Jawahar tunnel, Kashmir's only road-link to rest of the country.

Security officials said that a 500 gm IED was hidden underneath a culvert some 350 metres away from southern side of the tunnel, which is over 90 km away from Srinagar.

Due to the large influx of tourists and Amarnath devotees in the Valley, forces have been put on high alert.

"We had inputs that National Highway would be attacked owing to the recent spurt in violence in the Valley. So our special teams were continuously searching the highway for explosives," said BN Ramesh, inspector general operations of CRPF at Panthachowk headquarters in south Kashmir.

"Last night at around 9 pm, one of our teams found a green box with protruding wires under a culvert near the tunnel. It turned out to be an IED device. We stopped the traffic on both sides of the tunnel till midnight to defuse the bomb," he said.

The tunnel is heavily guarded with round-the-clock CCTV surveillance by police and military.

Ramesh denied that the device was planted for Yatra pilgrims, "It seems that Yatra pilgrims were not the target as most of the Yatra vehicles cross the tunnel by 8 pm and the device was found hours later," Ramesh said.

"Somebody is hell bent on disturbing the peace in the Valley. It is swarmed by tourists and Amaranth pilgrims these days," he stressed.

Around 3.75 lakh pilgrims have already visited the cave shrine located at a height of 3,888 metres in the mountains of South Kashmir's Lidder Valley. And over 5 lakh tourists have already visited the Valley with more and more pouring in.

Security forces have been grappling with militancy related violence over the past few weeks even as authorities claim that violence was at its lowest ebb ever since it started more than two decades ago.