Kashmir Indepth

Lethpora Attack: Bodies Of 40 Men Sent To Native Villages, DNA Test To Confirm Identity Of other Slain Men

Qayoom Khan

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Srinagar, Feb 15 : The death toll in the deadliest attack on government forces in Jammu and Kashmir mounted to 49 on Friday as four wounded paramilitary men succumbed to their injuries at army’s 92 base hospital Badamibagh Srinagar.

Official sources told news agency that bodies of 40 of the slain were identified while body parts of nine others were collected together and would be sent to their native villages after confirmation.

They said that 37 bodies were sent in one go while three others were sent later. Home Minister Rajnath Singh attended wreath laying ceremony of the 37 CRPF personnel. He also shouldered coffin of one among the slain.

Nine of the slain CRPF men, they said, are beyond identification and now DNA test would be conducted to identify their body parts.

“The nine personnel are known but their body parts are not differentiable and now DNA tests are being done,” the officials said, adding, “the samples have been taken and would be matched with their relatives.”

CRPF spokesperson Ashish Kumar Jha told news agency that bodies of forty personnel have been sent to their respective villages for last rites.

Asked about the DNA sampling and missing personnel, the spokesman refused to comment and dropped the phone.

On Friday, a team of NIA visited the scene of the attack and thoroughly searched the area and collected samples for forensic investigations.  “The nature of explosive used and quantity used would be revealed during investigations,” he said.

The attack took place along Jammu-Srinagar highway when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into a CRPF convoy in Lethpora area at around 3:15 p.m. yesterday. Sources said that ithe ntensity of the blast was such that its sound was heard around 10 kilometers away.

JeM militant outfit had claimed the responsibility for the attack and identified the bomber as Adil Ahmad Dar alias Waqas Commando and he is also believed to be killed even though there was no official confirmation in this regard so far.

Following the blast, the traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu highway came to standstill and when the reports last came in, the road was still closed. A police official said that the traffic continued to be diverted through Galander area.

A police officer had said forensic experts of have taken samples even as investigations have been set into motion. The officer also confirmed that yesterday’s attack was the deadliest in the 30 years of insurgency. “Even though there were major attacks in the past also like Badamibagh and assembly but this is the first attack in which there have been such a number of causalities,” the officer had said.

Regarding the vehicle, the officer said that it seems to be a Scorpio or jeep. “Investigations are underway in this regard,” the officer had said. (GNS)

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