A day after Pakistan-based Hizbul Mujahideen leader Syed Salahuddin expelled Abdul Qayoom Najar, one of his top leaders in north Kashmir for killing innocent persons and attacking the telecommunication set-up in the Valley, two showrooms of cellphone service providers and a tower came under attack in Srinagar. The fresh attacks have left vendors and mobile tower owners worried.
The first two attacks took place around 11.15 am followed by another 15 minutes later. Unidentified persons hurled a bomb at Aircel and Vodafone offices at Karanagar. No one was injured. As the police were busy probing the attacks, militants targeted a mobile tower in nearby Shaheed Gunj. The attack left two people injured. They were rushed to a nearby hospital. and their condition is stated to be stable.
Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Javaid Mujatba Gillani said the police have got a few leads. “We are expecting a breakthrough soon,” he said.
He said he could not rule out involvement of Najar in these attacks. “He could be behind these attacks, but it is premature to say that,” he said.
According to witnesses, employees and customers at the Vodafone showroom in Karanagar were first asked to leave the showroom. “A man came inside and asked us to vacate the place,” said an employee. Soon after the grenade attacks, panic gripped the employees of cellular offices and owners of mobile tower owners. Fearing more attacks, most mobile vendors shut down their shops.
“We are worried. We will wait and watch before deciding on anything,’’ said a vendor operating a BSNL franchise. “We have been asked to remain vigilant after the attacks in Srinagar,” a police officer said.
Former chief minister Omar Abdullah said the attacks were a wake-up call for Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
“Thank goodness, no injuries or casualties but Mufti can’t afford to ignore this wake-up call. Srinagar isn’t Sopore,” Omar tweeted, soon after the attacks.
Condemning the attack, the PDP in a statement said that the incident was inhumane. “The attacks should be investigated and perpetrators should be identified immediately,’’ PDP general secretary Rafi Ahmad Mir said.
On July 16, unidentified men had tried to blow up a mobile tower in north Kashmir’s Nihalpora village.