February 2000 News

Two explosions rock Rajouri town; 3 live bombs seized

9 February 2000
Daily Excelsior

RAJOURI: Two powerful explosions rocked main bazaar of Rajouri town this afternoon wounding a woman and causing damage to some shops. Three live detonators were recovered from the spot.

The blasts were triggered by two detonators, a police spokesman here said.

The explosions occurred at the stroke of 1400 hours when the town was not much crowded with shoppers. Still, a number of people were taking round of the town when big bangs of explosions rocked the area.

The spokesman said blasts occurred near the shop of one Pawan Kumar. A woman Chanchala Devi, who was standing close to the shop, sustained injuries in the explosion.

Police and army officers reached the site of explosions immediately and the area was cordoned off by police and para-military personnel. The injured woman was rushed to district hospital where her condition was stated to be stable. Police said shop of Pawan Kumar and some adjoining shops suffered damage in the blasts.

During searches conducted in the area, police personnel recovered three more live detonators from near the spot. Police said a major tragedy was averted with the detection of three detonators as they too would have gone off within the next few minutes.

Panic gripped the town as shopkeepers downed their shutters and rehriwallas fled from the spot. The town wore a deserted look for sometime but normal activity was restored in the evening after police and security forces completed the search operation and gave a green signal to shopkeepers to resume their business.

Police said they were questioning some suspects in connection with the explosions but no formal arrest has been made so far. Some local militants were suspected to be behind the explosions, they added.

Meanwhile, an Indian army jawan was killed as Pakistan stepped-up firing and shelling on Indian positions on the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch and Rajouri districts overnight.

Official reports reaching here said the Pakistani troops resorted to firing and shelling targeting Indian civil and defence locations at Bhimber Gali (BG), Krishna Ghati (KG), Nowshera, Sunderbani and adjoining areas on the LoC late last night. Firing was intense in Nowshera sector.

Some shells, fired from across the border, also landed in the civilian areas but exploded harmlessly. Indian troops returned the firing effectively.

In the exchange of firing, which continued till the early hours of this morning, an army soldier on the Indian side was killed at a forward post in Nowshera sector. He has been identified as Deepak Rawat of 14 Garhwal. His body has been shifted to an army camp for further transportation to his native village.

Reports said the Pakistani troops also sustained some casualties in retaliatory firing by the Indian army. However, the exact number of casualties on the other side wasn’t known. Troops on this side saw the ambulances moving in the forward areas of Pakistan which confirmed casualties on the enemy side.

No civilian casualty was reported on either side in the firing, the reports said.

Our Jammu correspondent adds: Intermittent exchange of firing continued between Indo-Pak troops on the International Border last night. Exchange of firing was described by the official sources as ‘routine’.

There was no casualty or damage on Indian side in the firing. Sources said the firing was aimed at pushing saboteurs to Indian side but that attempt of Rangers was foiled.


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