SRINAGAR, July 12: The security forces recovered an improvised explosive device (IED), planted by suspected separatist militants near Jawahar Tunnel thus averting a major tragedy, a senior security official said on Thursday.
Kashmir’s security forces have been grappling with militancy related violence over the past weeks even as authorities claim that armed rebellion was at its lowest ebb ever since it started more than two decades ago.
At least five militants and one soldier have been killed in separate encounters across the valley last week.
” Our personnel defused a 500 gm IED under a culvert some 350 metres away from the southern end of Jawahar Tunnel,” said I.G Operations CRPF, B.N Ramesh.
“The device was found around 2100 hours and was diffused immediately. Traffic had to be stopped on both sides of the tunnel till midnight,” he said.
Jawahar Tunnel, one of the longest tunnel-road in Asia which links Kashmir with rest of the country, is witnessing a huge rush of visitors including tourists and pilgrims for Amarnath Yatra.
The Officer, however, ruled out that the device was aimed to target the Amarnath pilgrims. “The convoys of Pilgrims cross the Tunnel around 8 pm and the IED was detected hours after the last vehicle of pilgrims entered the valley,” Ramesh said.
“Security Forces could have been the target or the civilians. For us human life is supreme,” he added.