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J&K: Car rams CRPF bus and explodes on Jammu-Srinagar highway

The incident took place around 10:30 am on Saturday when a Hyundai Santro coming from the Kashmir side, hit the bus and one of its two LPG cylinders (appeared to have been carrying it) exploded. The other cylinder was found at the site of the incident, police said.

Saima Siddiqui

Saima SiddiquiBy Saima Siddiqui

Published on 31 March 2019 4:57 AM GMT

J&K: Car rams CRPF bus and explodes on Jammu-Srinagar highway
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Jammu: A car on Saturday morning exploded after hitting a bus carrying CRPF troopers and gutted to ashes at Banihal near the Jawahar Tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway. The car was destroyed, but no one on the bus or the road was injured, police said.

The incident took place around 10:30 am on Saturday when a Hyundai Santro coming from the Kashmir side, hit the bus and one of its two LPG cylinders (appeared to have been carrying it) exploded. The other cylinder was found at the site of the incident, police said.

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However, the driver seems to fled the site immediately after the incident as the fate or whereabouts of the driver of the car are still not known. In the evening, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik said it was yet to be established whether the incident was a terror attack, or why the car caught fire.

Banihal Sub-Divisional Police Officer Sajad Sarwar said the driver of the Santro was believed to have escaped. “Efforts are on to identify the driver of the vehicle for questioning,” he said.

IGP Jammu Zone M K Sinha told media that an IED and some detonators were found inside the wrecked car.

The officer also said that a note in English, written on plain paper apparently by the driver of the Santro, had been found at the site, which raised questions about the incident.

The writer of the note claimed that he was a member of the Hizbul Mujahideen, and that he was “taking the extreme step in view of continued atrocities on Kashmiris since 1947”, Sinha said. “We are verifying the authenticity of the letter,” he added.

A month and a half ago, a Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber had rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into a bus carrying CRPF personnel in Pulwama. Forty men had died in the attack on February 14, and India had responded by striking a Jaish terror camp in Balakot deep inside Pakistan.

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Security personnel inspect the mangled remains of a car which exploded near a CRPF convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway at Banihal, in Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir Saturday.

“It has not been established whether it (Saturday’s incident) was a (terror) attack or not. It has also not been established why the vehicle caught fire,” Governor Malik told reporters in Jammu, a source said. “No explosive of sorts, but nothing can be said (at the moment),” Malik said.

“There is an exploded cylinder along with an unexploded one found at the blast site,” IGP Sinha said. Nothing could be said about the cause of the blast until experts gave their report after examining the blast site, he added.

While traffic was restored on the highway a few hours after the incident, police parties were searching the forests on either side of the incident site at Tethar village, 7 km from Banihal town in the Jammu region, until evening.

Earlier in the day, a CRPF spokesperson had said that the incident was being investigated “in respect of all possible angles”.

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(PTI)

Saima Siddiqui

Saima Siddiqui

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