M A I N   N E W S

Kashmir blast toll put at 29
Tribune News Service

Humahama (Budgam), May 24
The death toll in yesterday’s IED explosion on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway has been put at 29. The number of injured in the incident is stated to be six out of whom one is in a serious condition.

Talking to mediapersons after a wreath-laying ceremony at Subsidiary Training Centre (STC) near Srinagar, the Director-General of the Border Security Force, Mr Ajay Raj Sharma, said those killed included 12 BSF personnel. Seventeen others killed in the incident included the family members and relatives of the BSF personnel going out on leave. They included six women and three children.

The Director-General, BSF, was accompanied by the Special Secretary, Home, Government of India, Mr B.B. Mishra. Senior State government civil and police officers including the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Mr Khursheed Ahmad Ganai and the Inspector-General of Police, Kashmir Range, Mr K. Rajendra, were also present on the occasion.

Mr Ajay Raj Sharma said it was a cowardly act on the part of militants who were "unable to do anything" since the recently concluded Parliament elections. He said the morale of the security forces was not down due to the incident adding that the security forces would make all efforts to act against those responsible for the attack. Denying that it was due to the negligence of the security forces, the DG BSF said the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) would look into the matter and investigate the causes of the incident. He added that it was an IED-prone area where several such incidents had taken place in the past as well. One of the ministers in the Farooq Abdullah’s National Conference government was killed in a similar incident in the area.

Giving details of the incident, the DG BSF, Mr Ajay Raj Sharma, said the bus carrying the victims was part of the BSF convoy from Srinagar to Jammu. Those on board were going to their respective destinations. The bus that became the target of the attack was the fourth vehicle in the convoy that overturned due to the impact of the explosion leading to a fire in the diesel tank. Those on board could not come out of the bus as it was engulfed in flames, he said. Mr Sharma clarified that travelling of the family members of the BSF personnel was not out of the way, but was permitted as a welfare measure. He said due compensation would be provided to the next of kith and kin to the BSF men killed in the incident.

SRINAGAR: The following is the list of those killed and injured in the bus explosion at Lower Munda near Qazigund, about 100 km from here, on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway on Sunday.

List of the expired BSF personnel: Inspector K.K. Jha, STC, BSF, Kashmir; SI CD Sharma, 98 Bn; Head Constable B.K. Sarkar, 43 Bn; Head Constable Onkar Chand, 57 Bn; Head Constable Hoshiar Singh, 141 Bn; Head Constable R.C. Dwivedi 06 Bn; HC/Driver Mathan Singh, Frontier Headquarters; Constable Virendra Singh, 57 Bn; Constable Raj Kumar, 08 Bn; Constable Hanumanthapa 56 Bn; Constable Harindra Ram, 56 Bn; and Constable Chouhan Chirag Kumar, 56 Bn.

Family members and relatives of BSF personnel killed: Ms P. Jha, wife of Inspector, K.K. Jha, Sharsa, Bihar; Ms Pooja Jha, daughter of K.K. Jha; Master Sujala Jha, son of K.K. Jha; Mr Hira Lal, brother of Constable Balbir Chand, SHQ Srinagar from Gurdaspur, Punjab; Mr Suresh Kumar, brother of cook Rajesh Kumar, SHQ, Srinagar, resident of Jammu; Mr Sohan Lal, brother of Jeet Raj, 57 Bn, from Akhnoor, J&K; Mr Sonu, Guest of Swpr Bejanti Bai, Com Hospital, Srinagar, resident of Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh; Gulab Singh, father of Mali Inder Singh, Com Hospital Srinagar, Gwalior, MP; Udai Bhan, brother of Mali Inder Singh; Kamal Kishore, brother of Mali Inder Singh; Ms Ghesu Bhai, mother Mali Inder Singh; Puran Singh, brother-in-law of Head Constable/ Driver Sher Singh, Frontier Headquarters Srinagar, resident of Kathua, J&K; Ms Indu Rani, sister of Sher Singh; Karam Deep, nephew of Sher Singh; Navdeep, nephew of Sher Singh; Ms Tanvi, niece of Sher Singh; Ms Usha Devi, wife of CT Mukesh Singh, 51 Bn attached with SHQ, Srinagar.

List of injured: Constable M. Nadeem, 57 Bn BSF; Constable/Driver Raj Kumar, Frontier Headquarters BSF, Srinagar; Swpr Sunny Awtar, 43 Bn BSF; Mr Sandeep Kumar, brother of Constable Pradeep Singh 57 Bn; Mr Surender, guest of W/M M. Rampal, SHQ, Srinagar.

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