January 2000 News

Blast rocks Company Bagh

28 January 2000
Daily Excelsior

JAMMU: Within few hours after the attack on National Conference MLC Mr Javed Shah's house at Roop Nagar late last night, militants triggered an explosion at Company Bagh behind the Maulana Azad stadium early this morning causing damage to several parked vehicles.

The blast, engineered with a powerful explosive device, occurred at 0320 hours under a parked ambassador car No. 4195 JKR. The car was blown up with the intensity of explosion. Three other cars, parked close to the vehicle, were also damaged in the blast.

However, there was no casualty as the area was deserted at the time of explosion.

Police and para-military teams reached the spot and cordoned off the area. The damaged vehicles were removed from the spot and splinters of explosive device seized for investigations. However, nature of the explosive device couldn't be established immediately but it was suspected to be an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

DIG Jammu Dr S P Vaid told EXCELSIOR after visiting the spot that the bomb might have been abandoned by the militants at Company Bagh after they failed to take it inside the adjoining MA stadium, which was militants' prime target on January 26.

Police said the blast would have caused casualties had it occurred in the day time when the Company Bagh generally remained busy. No arrest has so far been made in connection with the blast though police have rounded up a number of suspects for questioning.

The explosion at Company Bagh took place even as police pressed troops into service at Roop Nagar to launch a massive search and combing operation following militants' attack on National Conference MLC Javed Shah's house.

Security forces assisted by police and para-military personnel, have fanned out in the forest area adjoining Roop Nagar and were conducting thorough searches. The search operation was expected to continue till tomorrow, police said, adding the operation was necessitated as Javed Shah's body-guards reported that atleast four militants were involved in the attack.

Police said the investigations carried out so far revealed that only an explosive device had been thrown on Javed Shah's house which exploded in a drain outside. No firing was resorted to by the militants as reported earlier as no empties could be recovered from the spot.

However, Shah's personal body-guards, mostly the surrendered militants resorted to firing and fired 30 rounds. Shah's PSOs, allotted to him, by the Security wing, were not present in his house when the attack took place.

A post of SSB, which was also stationed near the house of Javed Shah, also informed the visiting police officers that they heard the sound of explosion and then firing from Shah's body-guards. Security arrangements of Shah were being strengthened, police said, adding patrolling in the entire Roop Nagar locality has also been stepped-up.


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