A sniffer dog helped avert a major tragedy on Thursday when it detected an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) near Tahira Khanam’s college at Lawayporaon on the Srinagar-Baramullah road in Kashmir. The Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus, carrying 22 Pakistani nationals, was scheduled to pass on this route later in the day.
The dog, attached with a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) team, detected a tin container holding 20 kgs of explosives planted along the route half-an-hour before the bus was to pass.
“This is the third attempt to plant a improvised explosive device on this bus route this year. We have foiled all these attempts,” AP Maheswari, inspector general (Operations), CRPF, said. “Our boys of the 163 battalion have shown alertness and resourcefulness to avert a major tragedy”.
A CRPF official said the army’s bomb disposal squad was called, the area cordoned off and the bomb detonated by explosive experts to clear the road for the bus to pass at 6.45 a.m.
“We have been using sniffer dogs in the Valley since 2004,” said Dayal.
A Maruti-laden with explosives had blown up on the highway in this area two years ago; the explosion had killed three BSF personnel and left two dozen people injured.
The police, however, claimed it was troops of 2-RR (Rashtriya Rifles) who detected the IED and denied that the IED was aimed at targeting the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus.
The first attempt to attack the bus was in February when 30 kgs of explosives to be triggered with a mobile phone was found packed in an auto rickshaw parked along the Srinagar-Baramulla highway; the second in March when explosives planted under a heap of mud were detected, Abhishek Dayal, CRPF spokesman, added.