A New Delhi-bound soldier has been arrested at the Srinagar airport for carrying two grenades on Monday, 3 April. The grenades were found in his baggage while he was leaving the Srinagar international airport, one of India's heavily guarded.
During questioning, Bhupal Mukhia reportedly told law enforcement agencies that he was carrying the bombs under the orders of a senior army officer. Both the police and the army's Central Reserve Police Force took part in the interrogation. He allegedly said he was not aware of the grenades but later retracted his statement. Officials have not ruled out any foul play in the matter.
Mukhia has been detained and taken to a local police station for further grilling. He is thought to be originally from the state of West Bengal and is posted in the restive state of Jammu and Kashmir. He was part of a contingent stationed at the Line of Control in the Uri sector bordering Pakistan.
Neither the local police nor the army has officially released much information on the incident. Though the Srinagar airport facility has multiple layers of security, the soldier is said to have passed many of them owing to the apparent relaxation of surveillance for army officials.
"He said he was directed by Major Sahib to carry the grenades to Delhi, where some person would pick up the consignment. We are not taking his claim at face value and we are investigating based on evidence," a senior police official was quoted by NDTV as saying.
His detention comes just a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Kashmir Valley to unveil India's longest road tunnel. Shortly after the inauguration, there was a grenade attack in a Srinagar neighbourhood killing one policeman and injuring 14 others.