Indian Army averted a major tragedy when a pressure cooker fitted with improvised explosive device (IED) was defused with the help of robots in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Police and Army acted swiftly after they received information that an IED fitted in a pressure cooker weighing around 10-kg was hidden under a bridge in Mendhar.
According to sources, troops of Rashtriya Rifles battalion of Counter Insurgency Romeo Force spotted a cooker IED fitted under Saglet bridge in Sakhi Maidaan area of Mendhar tehsil in Poonch district at 7.30 am and immediately stopped the traffic on Mendhar-Poonch road via Mankote.
Bomb disposal squads of police and army were called in and senior police officers rushed to the spot and stopped the movement of civilians in the area.
The troops used a robotic arm to carry the bomb to a safe distance before defusing it. The robotic arm helped in ensuring that there were no casualties of Bomb Disposal Squad in defusing the powerful explosive device.
The cooker was filled with five kilograms of TNT explosive device, which was capable of blasting Saget bridge and causing extensive damage to vehicles crossing over it.
It is believed that the militants were targeting vehicles of security forces and civilians by planting the IED under the bridge.
This was done with the intention to cause casualties and to make their presence felt in the border district of Poonch, where they not have any significant presence.
The IED was successfully defused at 1. 15 pm and the traffic on Mendhar-Poonch road via Mankote was restored only after the Army and police cleared the area and declared it fit for traffic.
Sources said that though there has been no major presence of militants in the border district.