SRINAGAR: Seven civilians including a minor boy and a CRPF officer were injured on Saturday in a grenade explosion at Lal Chowk.
The grenade was thrown at Central Reserve Police Force personnel stationed in a bunker outside the gutted building of erstwhile Palladium Cinema but exploded at some distance away in a crowded lane, injuring seven civilians and a CRPF officer, witnesses and officials said.
All the injured were immediately removed to the SMHS hospital for treatment. The injured civilians have been identified as Syed Abdul Majid of Natipora, Bashir Ahmad Mir of Bemina, Mushtaq Ahmad Dar of Shivpora in Srinagar; Abdul Rehman Wani and Haleema Bano, residents of Chak-e-Kawoosa, Budgam; and Ghulam Nabi Nayak and his minor son Farooq Ahmad of Devsar, Kulgam. The CRPF officer has been identified as sub-inspector Hari Ram Devakar.
Today’s blast in the city centre comes after a break of about four years. On January 7, 2010, two militants, a policeman and a civilian were killed in a 22-hour gunfight between militants and troopers stationed in the same bunker. Nine civilians including a photojournalist also suffered injuries in the gunfight.
“I was walking past the Palladium Cinema when the blast occurred. I was lifted by people and taken to hospital in an autorickshaw,” one of the injured civilian told a news channel.
A shopkeeper nearby, wishing not to be named, told Kashmir Reader that he was receiving a consignment of goods when the grenade was hurled at the CRPF post. In the blast, he said, the minor son of the truck driver who delivered the consignment was injured.
The explosion caused panic in the nearby marketplaces and prompted the people to run towards safer places. The explosion also hit the movement of traffic briefly. Teams of Special Operations Group of police and CRPF reached the spot to take stock of the situation.
“Seven civilians and a CRPF sub-inspector have been injured in the blast. The officer has received injuries in his shoulder. We’re looking into the matter and the (CCTV) footage will help us to reach any conclusion,” deputy superintendent of police Sheikh Faisal told reporters at the spot.