J&K Minister escapes attack by militants but 2 civilians killed

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 22 Sep 2017 08:58:37



34 others injured in grenade attack on the convoy of Public Works Minister Naeem Akhtar

MILITANTS on Thursday carried out a grenade attack on the motorcade of a senior minister of Jammu and Kashmir in Tral area of Pulwama district, killing two civilians and injuring 34 others, police said.
According to IANS, three civilians were killed in the attack. The Minister for Public Works, Naeem Akhtar, who was on a tour of Tral in south Kashmir, escaped unhurt in the attack.
“The grenade was reportedly hurled at 11.45 am,” a police official said.

The explosion killed 17-year-old Pinky Kour and 56-year- old Ghulam Nabi Trag, the official said, adding 34 others, including 7 security personnel, were injured.
“I am unhurt myself but I am very sad because this claimed two lives...I feel very sad for them,” Akhtar said.
“Those who carried out the attack cannot be friends of Kashmir or that of Islam,” he added. A driver was “very critically injured”, the minister said, adding that he was being airlifted to Srinagar.

“Innocent Kashmiri blood has been shed on one hand and on the other hand, they chose the eve of Islamic New Year to carry out this cowardly attack,” Akhtar told PTI.
After the attack, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, other ministers and several legislators called up Akhtar to enquire about his well being, an official spokesman said.

Condemning the incident, Mehbooba said, “It is unfortunate that the attack took place when a minister had gone to the town to assess the development needs of the area which has remained neglected for decades.”
In a statement, the Chief Minister said, “we shall have to ponder over as to how long this senseless bloodletting is going to consume us.”

She went on to question as to how long the people are going to “suffer like this on human, developmental, economic, educational and social fronts”. Mehbooba conveyed her sympathies to the bereaved families and wished speedy recovery to those injured.
Leader of the Opposition National Conference Omar Abdullah also condemned the attack on the minister.