Major tragedy averted; IED detected, defused

Members of the Bomb Disposal Squad trying to defuse an IED in Srinagar on Saturday. (UNI)
Members of the Bomb Disposal Squad trying to defuse an IED in Srinagar on Saturday. (UNI)

Fayaz Bukhari
Srinagar, Jan 13: Security forces averted a major tragedy today when they detected and defused a powerful Improvised Explosive Device (IED) planted by militants in Srinagar on Srinagar-Baramulla road this morning while a Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander and his Pakistani associate gave slip to security forces in Srinagar.
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The Commanding Officer of 44th Battalion of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Rakesh Kumar, told reporters that early in the morning they got information that an IED has been planted on the highway in Shalteng area. “We informed the local police and 2-RR as the Army has the responsibility of ROP in this area. Army, CRPF and Police cordoned off the area and conducted searches. We used our dog squad to scan the area and finally at around 9:30 a.m we managed to locate the IED. We later called Engineering wing of Army and they defused the IED”, he said.
Traffic on Srinagar to North Kashmir was suspended and entire area was sealed off and Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) summoned to defuse the IED. The IED was later defused by the Bomb Disposal Squad and traffic on the highway was restored but it led to massive traffic jams. However, part of traffic was diverted through Zainakote.
And two persons were injured after Army opened gunshots in HMT area of Srinagar outskirts today.
Army had inputs about movement of militants in the area and fired when a vehicle did not stop despite being asked to do so. Two persons were injured and they have been shifted to hospital. The firing caused panic in the area.
A militant commander of Hizbul Mujahideen and his Pakistani associate gave slip to security forces in Lal Bazar area of Srinagar this evening. Sources said that the security forces had information about the presence of two militants in the area but they gave slip to them near cricket ground Lal Bazar. However, security forces have intensified searches against them.
And in the meantime, authorities imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar to maintain law and order in view of a strike called by separatists against the death of a civilian allegedly in security forces firing during this week.
Restrictions were imposed in seven police station areas of Srinagar under under Section 144 CrPc. They were imposed in Nowhatta, M R Gunj, Rainawari, Khanyar and Safakadal Police Station areas of the city and parts of Kralkhud and Maisuma Police Station areas.
The curbs have been imposed as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order and to avoid any untoward incident.
The separatists have called for the strike today in the wake of death of a civilian in Khudwani area of Kulgam district on Tuesday. Khalid Dar, 20, was killed allegedly in firing by security forces on protesters in Khudwani after an encounter in which a local Hizbul Mujahideen militant was killed.

Meanwhile, normal life was affected elsewhere in the Kashmir valley due to the strike. Most of the shops, private offices, petrol stations and other business establishments were shut, while public transport was off the roads.
However, private cars, cabs and auto-rickshaws were seen plying in many areas where there were no restrictions.