In yet another major breakthrough to the Banihal blast case, the Jammu and Kashmir Police has found a letter written by the absconding Santro driver claiming himself to be associated with terror organisation Hizbul Mujahideen. The letter also added that the extreme step to attack the CRPF convoy on Jammu-Srinagar national highway was taken in view of atrocities on Kashmiris since 1947. The authenticity of the letter is being verified by the police.
Meanwhile, there are also reports that huge quantity of urea, gelatine sticks and oil were used in the Santro blast, causing damage in a CRPF vehicle near the Jawahar Tunnel - the gateway to the Kashmir Valley around 10:30 am this morning.
According to a preliminary investigation, the blast near Tethar village, seven kilometre from Banihal town in Jammu region, occurred after one of the two gas cylinders in the Hyundai Santro model caught fire.
Read the letter here:
Banihal sub-divisional police officer Sajad Sarwar said the vehicle, which was on the way to Jammu from Srinagar, was completely gutted in the fire. "Another gas cylinder was found lying near the vehicle, but no explosive substance was found," the officer said, without ruling out a terror angle.
A CRPF vehicle, which was passing through the highway at the time of the incident, suffered slight damage in the rear side, but all the personnel on board escaped unhurt, Sarwar said. Around 10 vehicles were reported to be part of the convoy.
The driver of the private car remained untraced and is believed to have escaped the scene after his vehicle caught fire. The officer said the police had started an investigation and forensic experts had also been summoned to help the investigation. "Efforts are also on to identify the driver of the vehicle for questioning," he added.
The incident triggered memories of the February 14 vehicle-borne suicide attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Pulwama that claimed the lives of 40 personnel and injured dozens others.