25 hurt in grenade explosion

Greater Kashmir

Srinagar, Sep 17: At least 25 persons including a trooper were wounded when unidentified persons hurled a grenade at Budshah Chowk here on Wednesday.
 Reports and eyewitnesses said the attack took place near a CRPF bunker outside the Akhara Building at about 11.30 am.
 The grenade, they said, hit a passenger bus before exploding on the road, creating panic in the busy area with people running for cover in shops and buildings.
 The injured were rushed to SMHS hospital. “We were inside a bus when we suddenly heard a bang. Initially we thought the bus tyre might have burst, but we soon saw some passengers bleeding. They had received grenade splinters,” said Muhammad Ashraf, an eyewitness.
 Senior police officials claimed that it was an attack on police. “The grenade was thrown towards a police constable who was that time on his beat,” said the senior superintendent of police, Srinagar, Afad-ul-Mujtaba.
 He said the cop escaped the attack as the grenade first hit a passenger vehicle. “It wasn’t an attack on the Akhara Building,” the SSP said, adding, “It was an attack on police without an iota of doubt.”
 “Normally a large contingent of CRPF troopers mans the Akhara crossing round the clock. But when the grenade was lobbed, there was hardly a trooper or two on the spot,” eyewitnesses said. 
 The CRPF’s public relations officer, Prabhakar Tripathi said, “Anyone could have been the target, either Police or CRPF. Someone wanted to create panic in the area to show that militants are still present in the Valley.”
 A senior official at the SMHS hospital said that they received 21 patients who had sustained injuries in the blast. “But except for one patient, who’ll be kept under observation, all would be discharged,” the official added.