Jammu and Kashmir: IED dropped by drone caused blast near PM Modi’s rally, say officials

Jammu and Kashmir: IED dropped by drone caused blast near PM Modi's rally, say officials

New Delhi: A mysterious explosion had taken place hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first public appearance in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370. Security agencies suspect that it could be an IED dropped by a drone.

Residents of Lalian village in Jammu’s Bishnah area on Sunday reported a suspicious explosion as alarm bells sounded in the security grid, hours before PM Modi’s arrival. Locals claimed that they heard a drone-like noise just before the loud explosion.

Residents of the house nearest to the pit created by the explosion said that some parts of the house were damaged in the blast. There were cracks in the walls and window panes were shattered by the explosion.

Sources in the security forces said they are also probing the angle that a drone may have dropped the IED near the prime minister’s rally venue. 

A top official said, “Terrorist groups like Jaish and Lashkar-e-Taiba are desperate. Terrorist groups wanted to stop the rally from taking place. Both Jaish and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) have drones which they could have deployed.”

Sources believe that directly threatening PM Modi’s rally could have increased tension on the border. The location of the prime minister’s rally, which was less than 10 km from the International Border (IB), was a potential threat. The NSG team had deployed counter drones, BSF had deployed similar anti-drones on IB.

The PM’s Special Protection Group (SPG) was immediately informed of the blast at Lalian. Initially, local police said the mysterious explosion may have been the result of a meteorite or a lightning strike. However, the police cordoned off the area and took soil samples for forensic examination.

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PM Modi’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday visited the parish of Samba district, 17 km from Jammu, on the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day. Crowds of people gathered to hear the PM’s address and raised slogans in his support.

PM Modi inaugurated the projects and laid the foundation stone for several development initiatives worth about Rs 20,000 crore in the Union Territory. He also launched Amrit Sarovar Initiative with the aim of development and rejuvenation of water bodies.

first published:April 25, 2022, 2:13 p.m.

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