SRINAGAR, India — A civilian was killed and at least 30 others were injured by a grenade blast at a bus station in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir on Thursday, police said.
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The grenade was hurled at the main bus station in Hindu-majority Jammu city and rolled beneath a bus, where it exploded, police said. The injured were taken to a hospital, including at least four who were in critical condition. One person later succumbed in the hospital, medics and police said.
Hours after the blast, police said they arrested a man they accused of throwing the grenade, calling it a “major breakthrough.” Top police officer M.K. Sinha said the Kashmiri man was directed by Hizbul Mujahideen, the largest rebel group, to carry out the attack.
Hizbul Mujahideen did not immediately comment on the police allegations. However, the Joint Resistance Leadership, which challenges India’s sovereignty over Kashmir, released a statement saying the attack on unarmed civilians was “the most reproachful act which should be condemned by all civilized humans.”
In the past, Indian authorities have blamed rebels fighting against Indian rule in the disputed region for similar grenade attacks, often without producing any evidence. Rebels have in turn accused government agents of carrying out the attacks to defame their movement.
Jammu experienced days of protests following a Feb. 14 suicide bombing in the Indian-held portion of Kashmir that killed 40 Indian paramilitary soldiers, the deadliest attack against Indian forces since the start of an armed rebellion in 1989 by mostly Muslim residents in the disputed Himalayan region. Hundreds of Hindu nationalists attacked Muslim neighborhoods in the city, burning vehicles and hurling rocks at homes. Authorities imposed a curfew for several days in the city.
Archrivals India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim the region in its entirety. Most Kashmiris support the rebels’ demand that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country, while also participating in civilian street protests against Indian control.
About 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian crackdown since 1989.
Categories: Jammu grenade attack