Services on the only rail link in Kashmir were disrupted on Friday after an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) went off, damaging track in South Kashmir's Pulwama district. However, no one was hurt.
Senior Superintendent of Police Pulwama Syed Kifayat Haider told The Hindu that the incident took place late on Thursday night . “When the IED was detonated, a loud explosion was heard in the vast area nearby,” Mr. Haider said, adding that, “soon after the explosion; we sent a team to ascertain the cause of the explosion.”
It was found that the IED was planted to blow up the track. “Around 2-3 feet of railway track was blown between Kakpore and Awantipore near Galbug. The area is situated 43.7 km south of Srinagar.”
However, there were no casualties as trains stop plying on the sector after 7 p.m. A Railway official said repair work was soon started and the services were restored although there is still panic among the people. “We are taking all necessary steps to ensure safety of the track,” he said.
Inspector General, CRPF, M.C. Asthana, said the nature of the explosive could be ascertained only after a forensic and trace analysis. “It has to be a regular high explosive. If anyone is claiming to know the nature [of the explosive] before the reports come, they are wrong. It is not emulsion or slurry. The way the magnesium steel has been cut, it has to be a regular high explosive detonation,” he said.
Thursday's attack on the track is the first one after rail services started on it last year. However, earlier during construction, militants have targeted railway officials.
In 2003-2004, suspected militants kidnapped the brother of a Northern Railway engineer from Pulwama, who was subsequently killed. In 2005, militants opened fire on the CRPF guarding the construction site, near Nuyan, Batpora, killing at least four troopers.