Jammu: Mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir Thursday condemned the grenade attack at a crowded bus stand here that left a teenager dead and 32 others injured, with the BJP pledging to wipe out terrorism and the Congress expressing concern over security preparedness.
Condemning the attack, Governor Satya Pal Malik directed the administration to provide best medical assistance to the injured. He asked all agencies to ensure that those responsible for the attack are brought to justice. The governor announced an ex-gratia of Rs five lakh to the next of the kin of the deceased and Rs 20,000 each to those injured, his spokesperson said. The J&K Congress unit said the lapses that led to the attack should be looked into as it showed the "total failure" of the Centre and the state administration in dealing with security situation. In a statement, J&K BJP president Ravinder Raina called the attack an "utter cowardice act" and pledged to wipe out terrorists and their supporters from the state. He said unnerved by the crackdown on separatists and terrorists, Pakistan and its sponsored terrorists are trying to show their existence by carrying out these ghastly acts. "Pakistan's nefarious designs have failed till now and it will be taught lesson for all misdeeds," he said adding Pakistan and its sponsored terrorists have tried to vitiate the atmosphere of Jammu and "this is not acceptable to us." "All those responsible for the act will be hunted down by our forces," Raina said, adding Jammu is a "Dogra heartland", which has never succumbed to these tactics and always responded in a befitting way. "Terrorists cannot succeed in demoralizing the brave Dogras and those who dream to create fear and tension among communities in the region will be dealt with iron hand," he said, expressing sympathies with the victims and assured them BJP stands with them in this hour of distress. Condemning the blast, Pradesh Congress Committee chief G A Mir said, "This kind of incident in the heart of the city is a matter of great concern when the security agencies are on high alert in the state". "This raises a question mark over the alertness of security apparatus and indicates that the anti-national elements have shown their strength to strike in the busiest area which is highly guarded," he said. The Congress leader expressed sympathies with injured and prayed for their early recovery, a party release said. National Conference also condemned the attack and prayed for speedy recovery of the injured. "Such cowardice acts were a challenge to the civilized society, which are needed to be fought unitedly," NC provincial president Devender Singh Rana said. Rana, along with former minister Surjeet Singh Slathia, state secretary Rattan Lal Gupta, former MLC Trilochan Singh Wazir and Provincial Secretary Pradeep Bali visited the bus stand and interacted with people. Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also condemned the attack. "Saddened by the news of death of a civilian and the injury to scores of others in a blast in #Jammu at a bus stand and strongly condemn it," the Mirwaiz tweeted.