A non-local toy seller was killed and at least forty including five women and three Sashastra Seema Bhal (SSB) personnel injured, two of them critically, after unknown persons hurled a hand grenade at the busy Amirakadal market here this afternoon.
Reports and witnesses said that panic gripped the entire area and people ran helter-skelter for safety after unknown person’s hurled grenade at the busy Amirakadal market this afternoon at 1.10 PM leaving one non-local toy seller killed and forty others injured.
The injured include five women and three SSB personnel undergoing treatment at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) hospital while those critically injured have been kept under observation.
The incident happened less than a month after three civilians including a woman suffered injuries in a similar incident at Hari Singh High Street on October 12. Prior to that six CRPF personal were injured in a grenade blast followed by shootout at Kak Sarai area in old city on October 27.
A CRPF installation at Nawakadal area in old city was attacked on September 28; however no one was reported injured in the incident.
The blast created total chaos and confusion in the area with attackers taking advantage of the chaos and managing to escape from the spot. The entire marketplace from Residency Road to Batamaloo, reports said, wore a deserted look after one person was killed and 40 others mostly street vendors selling fruits, vegetables, used clothes, crockery and other items were injured in grenade attack.
Witnesses said that people who were injured in the blast were writhing in pain and crying for help while blood was spilled everywhere on the road. They said that the injured persons were later shifted to hospital for treatment. However, the non-local toy seller who received critical injuries was declared as brought dead by the doctors. The slain toy seller has been identified as Rinku Singh from Saharanpur Uttar Pradesh.
Soon after the attack, joint team of police and CRPF cordoned off the entire area to nab attackers. The search operation according to reports continued for one hour but no arrest was made.
When contacted, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Central Kashmir, VK Birdi claimed that a non-local toy seller was killed and 28 others including three SSB personal were injured in the blast.
When asked as to what could be the motive behind such attacks, Birdi said “we are investigating the matter. Place where the blast took place always remains crowded. We could only be able to share details once investigation is completed”.
“I sell warm clothes at Amirakadal and was quite busy with the customers when the blast took place. I could only hear a loud blast and later on found myself lying on a bed in the hospital,” said one of the injured Danish Ahmad Shoda 20 son of Mohammad Sidiq Shoda of Noorbagh who was brought to SMHS hospital for treatment. Danish, according to doctors, received injuries in his left arm, belly and left hand.
Another injured street vendor who introduced himself as Omar Rashid Baba son of Abdul Rashid Baba of Ompora Budgam said there was smoke everywhere and people were crying for help.
“I heard a loud bang and found myself in a pool of blood. All I could hear was people crying. I don’t know who brought me to hospital and informed my family,” said Omar.