Fourteen people were injured on Sunday in an explosion near the venue of an election rally to be addressed by ruling National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah. This was the second such explosion during the day to disrupt the Srinagar Lok Sabha candidate's rally.
Union Minister and Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (NC) candidate Farooq Abdullah addressing an election campaign rally in Budgam. (PTI Photo)
Abdullah was scheduled to address the rally in Magam town of central Badgam district, 30km from Srinagar.
"Fourteen people were injured in the explosion. Of them, 10 have been taken to hospital," a police official said, adding that they were investigating the explosion.
Eyewitnesses said some unidentified persons threw a hand grenade causing the explosion.
Earlier, another explosion occurred 50metres from an election rally being addressed by Abdullah in Khanyar area of the state capital.
Eyewitnesses said a grenade was thrown at the Khanyar park where Abdullah, contesting from Srinagar constituency, was holding his rally.
Chief minister Omar Abdullah, had earlier refuted in a Tweet that there was any blast. "The election rally continues without disturbance and the police are working to ascertain the source of the noise that was heard."
Abdullah, who was accompanied by other NC leaders, told the rally: "These explosions will not deter me and should also not deter you from coming out and voting for the National Conference… Pray to God to save us from communal forces so that we can move forward. India cannot become communal. If it becomes communal, then Kashmir will not remain with India. Communalism is not acceptable to Kashmiris," Abdullah told the people gathered at Khanyar.
Srinagar goes to polls on April 30. In the run up to the polls in south Kashmir's Anantnag constituency recently, militants killed six people, including sarpanches and policemen.
"While I have no doubt that an effort will be made to derail the electoral process, these violent forces will not be allowed to succeed...What's the point of issuing a poll boycott call if you can't terrorise people into obeying it," Tweeted chief minister Omar Abdullah.
Police said no one was hurt in the Khanyar blast. No one has so far claimed responsibility for the explosions. But a forensic team was deployed soon after to probe both blasts.