Srinagar: Fourteen people were injured yesterday in an explosion near the venue of an election rally to be addressed by ruling National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah. This was the second such explosion during the day to disrupt the Srinagar Lok Sabha candidate’s rally. Abdullah was scheduled to address the rally in Magam town of central Badgam district, 30km from Srinagar.
“Fourteen people were injured in the explosion. Of them, 10 have been taken to hospital,” a police official said, adding that they were investigating the explosion.
Eyewitnesses said some unidentified persons threw a hand grenade causing the explosion. Earlier, another explosion occurred 50 metres from an election rally being addressed by Abdullah in Khanyar area of the state capital. Abdullah, who was accompanied by other NC leaders, told the rally: “These explosions will not deter me and should also not deter you from coming out and voting for the National Conference.”
“You must come out in large numbers and vote for the NC on April 30,” he said. Police said no one was hurt in the Khanyar blast. No one has so far claimed responsibility for the explosions.
Farooq Abdullah, who is the candidate in Srinagar said that Jammu and Kashmir would not remain a part of India if the country becomes communal, while asking those who vote for Narendra Modi to “drown themselves”.
Lashing out at Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate, Abdullah told an election rally in old city’s Khanyar area: “Those who say that people opposing Modi should go to Pakistan must remember that if India becomes a communal country, Kashmir would not remain its part. “Those who vote for Modi should drown themselves in a river”.
Criticising his opponents of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Abdullah alleged that PDP’s open support to BJP was a historic betrayal of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and its patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed should know that there is a limit to a nation’s tolerance to gimmickry, political intrigues and lies. “Every single vote that you will cast for National Conference will be a vote against the Modi-Mufti alliance and will be a vote that will stop the march of communal forces from entering Jammu and Kashmir.
“National Conference has defended Article 370 (of the constitution) and Kashmiriyat from hundreds of intrigues and thousands of enemies and National Conference will continue to be a protection shield for Jammu and Kashmir and its people long after I am gone,” he said. IANS