Massive explosion on Jammu-Srinagar highway; What caused the suspicious blast
Jammu, Mar 31: A massive explosion near the Jawahar Tunnel on Jammu-Srinagar Highway left the people panic-stricken as it triggered memories of the February 14 terrorist attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Pulwama, South Kashmir.
The blast took place in Jammu and Kashmir's Ramban district around 10.30 am on Saturday. A CRPF vehicle was slightly damaged and a private car went up in flames after an explosion. It was later found that the blast was apparently caused by a gas cylinder. There were no casualties in the incident.
According to a preliminary investigation, the blast near Tethar village, seven km from Banihal town in Jammu region, occurred after one of the two gas cylinders in the Hyundai Santro model caught fire. Banihal sub-divisional police officer Sajad Sarwar said the vehicle, which was on the way to Jammu from Srinagar, was completely gutted in the fire.
A CRPF vehicle, which was passing through the highway at the time of the incident, suffered slight damage in the rear side, but all the personnel on board escaped unhurt, Sarwar said.
On February 14 this year, a terrorist attack took place on this very highway near Pulwama in South Kashmir. Over 40 security personnel were martyred when a JeM terrorist rammed an explosive-laden car into a large CRPF convoy. The security on this highway has been beefed up manifold since the Pulwama attack.
The probe into Saturday morning's explosion is underway and the terror angle has not yet been ruled out officially. The driver of the private car remained untraced and is believed to have escaped the scene after his vehicle caught fire, a PTI report said. The officer said the police had started an investigation and forensic experts had also been summoned to help the investigation.
"It has not been established whether it was a (terror) attack or not. It has also not been established why the vehicle caught fire. No explosive of sorts, but nothing can be said (at the moment)," J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik told reporters in Jammu on Saturday.
OneIndiaNews with PTI inputs
Khalid JahangirBharatiya Janata Party
Farooq AbdullahThe Jammu & Kashmir National Conference