Five persons were killed and 21 others injured in a blast in Srinagar’s Batamaloo area on Thursday.
Police said that unknown persons threw a hand grenade on a group of labourers and Amarnath pilgrims, who were waiting for a passenger bus to leave for Jammu. About 26 people received splinter injuries, while three persons died on the spot. Two others succumbed to their injuries in the hospital.
The slain persons were identified as Rubina, her daughter Khushboo, and her three sons — Ayub, Adil and Qayoom. Bashir Ahmad, who owns a motor mechanic shop, said that the place was crowded with passengers and customers, when the blast occurred. “It was a gruesome site. People ran for safety leaving behind the injured in pool of blood. The victims were screaming for help. Police officials were nowhere to be found. We mustered courage and rushed to the spot and took the injured to the hospital,” he said.
Atul Goyal, SP (south), said that the police was investigating the matter. “We cannot say whether it was attack on pilgrims,” he said.
Amar Singh, a pilgrim from Madhya Pradesh, said, “We had just returned from the Amarnath Cave temple and were waiting for the bus. When we heard a frightening sound, we ran for safety. When we returned, six members of our team were missing,” he said.
The situation in Kashmir has becoming increasingly violent over the past week. On July 19, militants triggered an IED blast at Narbal in Pattan killing 10 soldiers and injuring 21 others. On July 20, two persons were killed and five injured in a grenade blast at Gulmarg. Earlier 32 persons — six of them CRPF men — were injured in a grenade blast at Banihal.