Greater Kashmir

Top NC leader among 5 killed in grenade attack

Kulgam, July 8: Just two days after Kulgam was granted district status with celebrations being held across, a grenade was hurled at former minister and MLC Sakina Itoo’s entourage killing five persons, including former National Conference MLA and district party president Ghulam Nabi Dar on spot and injuring 45 on Saturday. Sakina escaped with minor injuries.
Five of the injured persons, including Ghulam Nabi Dar, succumbed to injuries. The dead include, Muhammad Yusuf Wani of Reshipora, Ali Muhammad Zargar (PDD employee) of Kulgam, Azad Ahmad Wani son of Abdul Hamid of Chawalgam Kulgam, Muhammad Yusuf Shah son of Ghulam Qadir of Kulgam.
Sakina, whose father was killed in 1990, has survived nearly a dozen attacks since joining politics in 1996. This was sixth attempt on Sakina’s life.
Eyewitnesses said that a rally was organized by National Conference in the main town on Saturday to celebrate the conferring of district status to Kulgam. Thousands of people had turned up to attend the rally, which was to be addressed by Sakina and Dar.
At 11:30 AM, when Itoo was moving towards the rally’s venue, she decided to stop at the shrine of Hazrat Syed Simnani (RA). At the same time a grenade was thrown from some direction killing four persons instantly, including Dar, while at least 45 persons, including Sakina and Safdar Ali Khan, were injured. The injured also include five policemen, a woman and five children.
Massive protests were held after the explosion against the poor security arrangement.
The injured who were shifted to Srinagar hospital include, Sakina, MLC Bashir Ali Khan, block president NC Ghulam Rasool Ganai, Muhammad Hussain Shah, Ghulam Ahmad Dar, Abid Ahmad Naiku, Abdul Ghani Zargar, Ghulam Rasool Ganai, Fayaz Ahmad Naiku, Owais Shah, Nisar Ahmad Wani, Yunus Khan, Maqbool Ahmad Rangrez, Nasir Ahmad Naiku, Nam Dev a CRPF soldier, Abdur Rashid Ganai, Ghulam Nabi Mir, Khursheed Ahmad Mallah, Ghulam Ahmad Naiku, Muhammad Saeed, Khursheed Ahmad Salroo, Muhammad Yusuf Khan, Bilal Ahmad Wani, Muhammad Yusuf Hogami, Rafiq Ahmad Zargar, Bashir Ahmad Naiku, Mushtaq Ahmad, a head constable, Muhammad Sadiq, Mukhtar Ahmad Khan, Shamas Ahmad Khan, Iqbal Ahmad Wani.
The protesters were raising slogans against the SP and the SHO of the concerned station and demanded judicial enquiry into the incident.
People also complained of poor paramedical facility at district hospital Islamabad. They said only one doctor was available in the hospital to cater to tens of injured.
The attendants also alleged that there was no stock of blood in the hospital blood bank.
Meanwhile CPI (M) leader M Y Tarigami, who represents Kulgam constituency in the state assembly, strongly condemned the attack.
“The attack is the handiwork of those elements who are unhappy with the celebratory mood of the population of Kulgam on attaining district status,” he said.