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Omar, Farooq escape unhurt in Anantnag blast

By Shujaat Bukhari



The National Conference president, Omar Abdullah, after he escaped a blast in Anantnag on Sunday. - Photo: Nissar Ahmad

SRINAGAR, OCT. 24. The National Conference president, Omar Abdullah, and his father, the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Farooq Abdullah, today escaped unhurt when an Improvised Explosive Device went off at a graveyard as they arrived to attend a ceremony for the slain NC leader, Safdar Beg. Two persons were injured and a number of vehicles, including one fitted with a jammer, were damaged in the blast at Sarnal in the south Kashmir town of Anantnag. No militant outfit has owned responsibility.

Witnesses said the blast occurred a few metres from where Mr. Abdullah alighted from his vehicle at 11.45 a.m. The jammer-fitted vehicle, leading the convoy, bore the brunt and was destroyed. The windscreen of Mr. Abdullah's vehicle was damaged. Security personnel immediately threw a cordon around Mr. Omar Abdullah and led him to safety. The injured have been shifted to a Srinagar hospital where the condition of one of them was said to be serious. Dr. Abdullah's vehicle, which was slightly behind, was diverted and he later visited Beg's residence along with Mr. Omar Abdullah.

Probe demanded

At a press conference later, the NC chief blamed the Mufti Mohammed Sayeed-led State Government for not "taking proper care of our security." The administration knew that he and his father were visiting the town but no precautions had been taken. Even the District Superintendent of Police did not visit the area, he alleged. Rejecting the inquiry to be conducted by the Additional Director-General of Police (CID), Ashok Bhan, the NC chief said a high-level probe should be conducted, either by a judge or a Central agency.

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