Militants Attack BSNL HQ In Srinagar, 38 Injured
28 October 2003
The Indian Express
Srinagar: At least 38 people were injured when militants lobbed a grenade at the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited office near Lal Chowk in Srinagar, less than 300 metres from the residence of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed that was targeted 10 days ago. Militants hurled powerful grenade at the BSNL office located on heavily-guarded Exchange Road which landed at the bill collection centre where people had queued up to pay their telephone bills. The attack comes close on the heels of Pakistan-based militant group Lashker-e-Toiba declaring to step up violence in the state during the ongoing holy month of Ramzan. According to police officials, at least 38 people including eight women were injured in the attack. Inspector General of Police (Kashmir range) K Rajendra termed the incident as a desperate attempt by militants to ease the pressure that was mounting on them. The entire area was cordoned off by security forces and hunt was on to nab the militants. No militant outfit has claimed responsibility for the attack. This is the second time that militants have targeted BSNL office within two months. On August 27, militants had made a desperate bid to storm the complex when entire top leadership of the country including Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee were in town for the inter state council meeting. The BSNL office is located only 300 metres away from the heavily guarded residence of the Chief Minister which came under militant attack on October 18 when militants had hurled grenades and fired at his house. The militants later took shelter in a nearby building and in the ensuing encounter which lasted several hours, two militants were killed.