The mysterious blast which took place hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first public appearance in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370, may have been an IED dropped by a drone, highly placed sources said.
Residents of Lalian village in the Bishnah area of Jammu reported a suspected explosion hours before PM Modi arrived on Sunday, sounding alarm bells in the security grid. Locals claimed they heard a noise similar to a drone just before there was a loud blast.
The resident of the house closest to the crater created by the explosion said that the impact damaged parts of the house. The walls developed cracks and the sound wave shattered window panes.
Sources in the security forces said that they are also probing the angle that a drone could have dropped an IED, close to the venue of the prime minister’s rally. A top officer told India Today, “Terror groups like Jaish and LeT have been desperate. The terror groups wanted to deter the rally from taking place. Both Jaish and LeT have drones which they could have deployed.”
Sources believe that the direct threat to PM Modi’s rally could have escalated tensions at the border.
The venue of the prime minister’s rally, which was less than 10 km from the International Border (IB), had potential threat. The NSG team had deployed counter drones, with BSF deploying similar anti-drones at the IB.
The PM’s Special Protection Group (SPG) was immediately apprised of the blast in Lalian. Initially, local police said the mysterious explosion could be a meteorite result or a lightning strike.
However, police cordoned off the area and took soil samples for forensic examination.
PM MODI’S J&K VISIT
On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Palli in Samba district, 17 km from Jammu, on the occasion of the national Panchayati Raj Day. A sea of people turned up to listen to the PM’s address and raised slogans in his support.
PM Modi inaugurated projects and laid the foundation stones to multiple development initiatives worth around Rs 20,000 crore in the Union Territory. He also launched the Amrit Sarovar initiative aimed at developing and rejuvenating water bodies.