Little traffic, alert security personnel, and an uneasy calm. This was how the Jammu-Srinagar national highway looked like on Friday, a day after 40 CRPF personnel were killed in the single-worst terror attack in the Valley.
The authorities had halted traffic near Lethpora, where the attack took place, for several hours after the strike. The road was reopened by Thursday evening.
Throughout Friday, senior officials and teams of different investigative agencies visited the spot. The mangled wreckage of the CRPF bus which came under attack continued to be at the site. A team of forensic experts also arrived at the spot to take samples.
In the morning, Adviser to J&K Governor K Vijay Kumar and top police officers travelled to Lethpora. Kumar holds the charge of Home portfolio.
A large number of security personnel were deployed along the highway, and several vehicles were being checked. Many of those on duty were CRPF personnel, and they were reluctant to talk about the attack.
“I don’t want to talk about it. Please let me do my duty. Move your vehicle,” one CRPF man, who was posted on the highway near Pampore, said. Another CRPF man deployed at the highway told The Indian Express the incident has left him in pain. “It was very tragic,” he said. In the areas near the blast area, locals sat in small groups, discussing the attack.
“I was inside my shop when I heard a loud explosion. Initially we didn’t knew what happened. We later came to know it was an attack on the CRPF convoy. They (the security personnel) then arrived in the area in large numbers, and asked us to stay indoors,” said Rashid Ahmad, a shopkeeper.
On Friday, all shops near the blast site remained closed.
“I have never heard such an huge explosion. The earth shook that time,” a resident of Lethpora said.