Bomb-Laden Car in Pulwama Belonged to Hizbul Militant: Police

A massive car bomb attack on security forces was averted in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, early on Thursday, 28 May, where a vehicle carrying as much as 40-45 kg of explosives was caught.

In a major breakthrough in the case, police on Friday, 29 May, claimed to have identified the owner of the explosives-laden car as Hidayatullah Malik, an active member of Hizbul Mujahideen, reported news agency ANI.

According to the police, Malik is a resident of Sharatpora in Shopian and had joined the militant ranks in July 2019.

The car was reportedly placed at a strategic location to target a security forces’ convoy or a defence installation.

The explosives were kept in a blue drum inside the car. A bomb disposal squad reached the spot on Thursday morning. People were asked to move away from the vicinity. The bomb disposal squad then instead of defusing the explosive, exploded the vehicle.

JeM Has Main Role to Play: Police

"Jaish-e-Mohammed has the main role in this. Hizbul Mujahideen assisted them," Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Addressing a press conference in Srinagar hours after the incident came to light, Kumar said, "We had received information that a militant of Jaish-e-Mohammed is going to carry out the operation. So, we suspect that Adil (occupant of the car carrying IED) – a Hizbul Mujahideen militant – is also in touch with Jaish-e-Mohammed."

"He (Adil) intended to target vehicles of security forces. We are calling expert teams from outside. We suspect that the vehicle was carrying 40-45 kg of explosives," he added.

According to reports, the police was informed late on Wednesday that a purported militant was moving around with an explosive-laden car.

The police said that based on intelligence inputs, a white Hyundai Santro with a fake registration number was asked to stop at a checkpoint on Wednesday night but the vehicle tried to break past the barricade, reported NDTV.

“The security forces opened fire. The driver managed to escape, leaving behind the car laden with IED,” IGP Vijay Kumar reportedly said earlier.

A report by news agency ANI states that the vehicle was kept under watch at night, and people in nearby houses were evacuated. The vehicle was then exploded in-situ by bomb disposal squads as moving the vehicle would have involved serious threat. The number plate of the vehicle is said to be that of a scooter registered in Kathua district.

The incident on Thursday drew comparisons with what happened in 2019 in Pulwama, when a terror attack claimed the lives of 40 personnel who were part of a CRPF convoy.

(With inputs from PTI, NDTV, IANS and ANI.)

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