Blast in car near CRPF convoy in Ramban

Blast in car near CRPF convoy in Ramban
Photo: Greater Kashmir

A CRPF vehicle was slightly damaged Saturday when a private car went up in flames after an explosion, apparently caused by a gas cylinder, on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, police said.

There were no casualties in the incident that occurred nearthe Jawahar Tunnel —  the gateway to theKashmir valley — in Ramban district around 10.30 am.

"It has not been established whether it was an attackor not. It has also not been established why the vehicle caught fire,"Governor Satya Pal Malik told reporters in Jammu. "No explosive of sorts,but nothing can be said (at the moment)."

The incident triggered memories of the February 14 vehicle-bornesuicide attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Pulwama thatclaimed the lives of 40 personnel.

According to a preliminary investigation, the blast nearTethar village, seven kms from Banihal town in Jammu region, occurred after oneof the two gas cylinders in the Hyundai Santro model caught fire.

Banihal sub-divisional police officer SajadSarwar said thevehicle, which was on the way to Jammu from Srinagar, was completely gutted inthe fire.

A CRPF vehicle, which was passing through the highway at thetime of the incident, suffered slight damage in the rear side, but all thepersonnel on board escaped unhurt, Sarwar said. Around 10 vehicles werereported to be part of the convoy.

"Another gas cylinder was found lying near the vehicle,but no explosive substance was found," the officer said.

The driver of the private car remained untraced and isbelieved to have escaped the scene after his vehicle caught fire, he said.

The officer said the police had started an investigation andforensic experts had also been summoned to help the investigation.

"Efforts are also on to identify the driver of the vehicle for questioning," he added.

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Greater Kashmir