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Militants strike at liquor shop in Jammu: Fruit vendor dies, 6 injured
JAMMU, Nov 17: Breaking a long lull in the winter capital, suspected militants struck at a liquor shop, near Petrol Pump Narwal here, this evening. The incident comes close on the heels of a similar attack at Srinagar’s Boulevard area.

The suspected militants lobbed a grenade at Munish Wine Shop, Narwal, owned by Wine trader Bansi Lal Gupta, at around 6.55 PM, resulting in the death of a hawker and injuries to half-a-dozen people.

The deceased has been identified as a fruit/vegetable chat vendor Kuldeep Kumar, 22, son of Rekhi Ram of Chowki Chora (Akhnoor).

Six injured were identified as Amar Nath, son of Thoru Ram of Bahu Fort, Rakesh Singh, son of Yash Pal and Pardeep Kumar, son of Mulkh Raj both residents of Ramnagar, Rajinder Singh, son of Udham Singh resident of Garigarh, vegetable vendor Ramu, 35, son of Lakhi Ram of Madhya Pradesh at present Narwal and Sunil Sharma, 35, son of Madan Lal of Bishnah.

Police said that an explosion took place outside wine shop at Narwal at around 7 PM. The explosion occurred when there was rush in the area. Seven people sustained serious wounds in an explosion and six injured were rushed to the Government Medical College (GMC) hospital by local shopkeepers and police team led by SDPO East DySP Shamsher Singh Sambyal while one injured was shifted to Gandhi Nagar Hospital.

One of the injured shifted to GMC hospital Kuldeep Kumar was pronounced as brought dead by the doctors while others were being provided necessary treatment. Injured Sunil Sharma who was shifted to Gandhi Nagar hospital was also later referred to the GMC hospital.

Doctors at GMC hospital declared the condition of all injured to be stable as most of them sustained splinter wounds on the lower parts of body and were in a state of shock. One of the injured Rajinder Singh sustained splinter wounds on his shoulder.

Panic struck in the area soon after the blast and people ran helter and skelter to save their lives. Some of them took refuge in the adjoining shops as the shopkeepers downed their shutters to save their lives. Hundreds of people gathered on the other side of the road while a huge traffic jam occurred after explosion.

Senior police officers including Inspector General of Police (IGP) Jammu zone Dilbag Singh, DIG Jammu-Kathua range JP Singh, SSP Jammu Parbhat Singh, SP (South) Rajeshwar Singh and SDPO City East DySP SS Sambyal rushed to the spot.

Besides police, SOG cops, senior army officers, CRPF and BSF officers, ITBP jawans and intelligence sleuths rushed to the blast site. Teams of Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) besides sniffer dogs were pressed into service at the blast site to ascertain the nature of blast. They sealed the blast site lifted the splinters besides explosive substance. No crater was, however, found in the area while the pin of grenade was not yet recovered which created doubts about the nature of explosion in the minds of investigators.

A massive search operation was launched in the area and nakas in City East and South were put on alert. The vehicles were thoroughly searched in the area amid high alert. Some suspects were also rounded up from different parts of city outskirts for questioning.

Talking to media persons, IGP Dilbagh Singh asserted that it looks like a grenade blast but it is premature to comment on nature of explosion. He said that possibility of grenade attack can’t be ruled out and further investigations will make clear the nature of explosion.

“The militants targeted liquor shops in Kashmir valley few days back but it is yet to ascertained whether explosion here is a militant activity or not,” he said in response to a query, adding that incidentally explosion here also took place near Wine Shop and police is investigating that angle also. The potential militant threat exists here also as Jammu is near the International Border.

“If it turns out to be militant activity then the family of the deceased will be compensated and next of kin would be provided job, IGP averred in response to another query.

One of the eye-witness Krishan Kumar said that he heard a deafening sound with big flash of light opposite the wine shop with dust rising in the air. Nobody was seen running or throwing anything in the area but some people who were either going to purchase liquor or passing by sustained wounds. One of them was seriously injured and he was seen lying on the ground bleeding profusely with five others. The blast, he said, occurred around 7 PM right infront of the liquor shop near Petrol Pump opposite Transport Yard entrance.

Another eyewitness Satvir said that he was passing by near the Petrol Pump and heard an explosion. “I immediately turned towards the explosion site and saw thick smoke. Few persons were seen lying on the ground with injuries near explosion site,” he claimed, adding that it was dark all around and people ran for safety in panic.

However, none of the employees of the liquor shop were injured.

While condemning the attack on wine shop here, Ajay Goel, General Secretary of Jammu Wine Traders Association urged upon the state government to provide police protection to the wine shops especially during evening hours.
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News Updated at : Sunday, November 18, 2012
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