The Indian Army soldier, who was arrested with two grenades and four rounds of live ammunition at Srinagar airport by an anti-hijacking squad on Monday, was granted bail by a local court in Kashmir on Tuesday.
Budgam court handed over Bhopal Mukhia of 17 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles to the army after the defence authorities moved an application seeking his custody for investigation. The army told the court that they will conduct their own investigation.
According to officials, the application seeking his custody was moved under the Army Act. The case has been listed for a hearing on April 6.
Jammu and Kashmir police chief SP Vaid confirmed the bail order and said that “police might hand over the case to the army if they start their own (army’s) court of inquiry’’.
Mukhia, a native of Darjeeling in West Bengal, told airport security that Major Vivek Seth had asked him to carry two grenades and four rounds of live ammunition and hand them to someone in Delhi.
Sources said Seth, who is currently out of the state, has been asked to return to the valley for investigation.
An army spokesperson confirmed that the soldier was caught carrying the grenades in a packet as reported by the airport authorities. “The matter is under investigation. As per due process of law, the army will take action against the individual,’’ the spokesperson had said.
The spokesperson, however, ruled out any hijacking angle.
The explosives were found in the baggage as Mukhia, who was posted near the Line of Control in Uri, was to board a chartered Air India flight for security personnel. As security personnel don’t have to undergo the multiple tyre security, Mukhia managed to sneak in the grenades to the last checking point.
Srinagar is one of the most guarded airports in the country and has an elaborate security drill in place.