Suspicious box in Kashmir shrine leads to panic

Srinagar: A suspicious box found in the compound of the Kheer Bhawani shrine in Tulumulla ahead of an annual mela to be attended by thousands of devotees tomorrow triggered panic in the area, police said today.

An anti-sabotage team of police found the empty ammunition box containing a bomb-like substance in the Kheer Bhawani complex in Ganderbal district last evening, a police official said.

He said the box was taken out from the complex and destroyed at Manasbal by a bomb disposal squad.

The detection of the suspected bomb caused panic as the highly guarded shrine will be hosting thousands of devotees tomorrow.

An internal inquiry has been ordered into what seems to be a security lapse as the temple complex is highly protected with hundreds of security personnel guarding the shrine, the official said.

The annual Mela Kheer Bhawani will be observed tomorrow with Kashmiri Pandits and Hindus expected to pay their obeisance at the shrine.

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