Back-to-back blasts in two buses rock Udhampur, NIA joins probe

Cops and people at the site of second blast in a bus at Old Bus Stand in Udhampur on Thursday. - Excelsior/Rakesh
Cops and people at the site of second blast in a bus at Old Bus Stand in Udhampur on Thursday. - Excelsior/Rakesh

Two suspects detained for questioning

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Sept 29: Hours after first blast at Domail Chowk in Udhampur in a bus, another explosion rocked a bus at Old Bus Stand in heart of Udhampur town early today but there were no casualties though the vehicle suffered extensive damage.

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The back-to-back blasts in Udhampur town prompted arrival of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) teams to the spot to join investigations with police while two suspects have been rounded up by the police for questioning.
DIG Udhampur-Reasi Range Suleman Choudhary told the Excelsior tonight that two suspects have been taken into custody for questioning. However, no formal arrests have been made so far, he said, adding investigations are on.
While two persons including a conductor and his friend were injured in the explosion inside a parked bus at Domail Chowk at 10.35 pm last night, there were no injuries in the second blast which took place in bus bearing Regd. No. JK14C3636 which occurred at 5.45 am just 45 minutes before the bus had to leave for Ramnagar. The bus was empty at the time of explosion.
The first bus had reached Domail Chowk from Basantgarh and had to leave for the same town at 8 am today.
Police is suspecting use of sticky bombs fitted with timers in both the explosions which were of similar nature. Extent of damage was, however, more in the second blast as compared to first.
Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Jammu region Mukesh Singh visited both the sites of blast and said high explosives might have been used in carrying out the blasts which were of the same pattern.
“Initial examination points towards use of high explosives,” he said, adding probe is on to ascertain whether it was the handiwork of terror modules.
The roof and the backside of the bus were blown away by the blast in second bus.
Speaking to reporters at the site of blast in Udhampur, ADGP Singh said the “first explosion took place on a parked bus around 10:35 pm on Wednesday near a petrol pump. Two people sustained minor injuries but are now out of danger”.
He said the other blast that took place in the Old Bus Stand area.
Singh said the nature of the blasts was being ascertained, adding probe is being done on various angles.
“The origin of both buses is same (from Basantgarh-Ramnagar area of Udhampur). There is similar class of blast according to initial examination,” he said.
He said various teams working on the case including the Army’s Bomb Disposal Squad.
Police said the bus came from Basantgarh area of the district and was on night halt at the Udhampur Bus Stand. It was scheduled to leave for Basantgarh in the morning.
The top portion and backside of the bus (JK14C-3636) were blown up due to impact of the blast.
DIG Udhampur-Reasi range Suleman Choudary said there was damage to two to three buses in the blasts.
He said the nature of explosives used and other things are under investigation.
He said the injured and other people here are being questioned in this regard.
Teams of police and other security forces have cordoned off the Bus Stand and all vehicles are being checked thoroughly before allowing them to resume normal daily transport services.
Alert has been sounded by the police and people have been asked to check their vehicles.
The first blast took place at Baigra petrol pump in Domail area on Wednesday night. Two injured in the blast have been identified as Sunil Singh of Kawya Pringla (Ramnagar) and Vijay Kumar of Jaganoo. Both are admitted in the district hospital in Udhampur.
Sunil Kumar said the explosion took place as they returned to their bus after dinner. He added the roof of the bus was damaged.
“I was sleeping when blast woke me up. I was hit by broken pieces of glasses and was bleeding. Police took me to hospital.”
Police said suspects from Dudu-Basantgarh areas and Gool-Gulabgarh are under scanner. However, investigations are being conducted from all angles.
Security arrangements have been intensified at all crowded places including Bus Stand, Railway Station etc and people have also been asked to maintain strict vigil around them.
On March 9 this year, a sticky bomb blast took place on a rehri in Slathia Chowk of Udhampur in which one person was killed and 19 others were injured.