Attack in Kashmir, deadliest over years Kills about 90 Soldiers
Attack in Kashmir, deadliest over years Kills about 90 Soldiers | Photography: India Tribune

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Attack in Kashmir, deadliest over years Kills about 90 Soldiers

Feb 15, 2019

Pulawama district in Jammu and Kashmir faces the second biggest attack on the paramilitary forces on Thursday, following the assault conducted on CRPF personnel in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh in 2010. The bomb blast is one of the worst ever attacks in Jammu and Kashmir since the emergence of militancy in 1989. The attack occurred when 2547 CRPF were going in a convoy of vehicles from Jammu to Srinagar. A suicide bomber forced an SUV packed with explosives on CRPF bus plying on the Srinagar-Jammu Kashmir highway in Lethpora town about 30 Km from Srinagar. The blast triggered a deafening explosion around 3:15 pm on 14th of February and killed about 42 military personnel who were travelling to Srinagar.

Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), a Pakistan based militant has admitted to be the man behind the attack and released a video clip of the bomber who had conducted the suicide attack in Pulawama. The commander was identified as Adil Ahmad Dar and the video was taken about 30kms away from the spot, just before the person executed the bombing on the convoy.  

The police officer investigating the case has reported that the bus was the main target of the militants. The attack was so huge that there could hardly be anyone who has escaped death. The devastating attack involved 200 kg of explosives, including the RDX, stuffed into the SUV.

The vehicle crashed the CRPF leaving behind a heap of shrapnel. While one of the CRPF vehicles were destroyed another was partly crashed. The investigators guessed it as a suicide attack initially and later confirmed it after receiving a call from the Pakistani militant. The people injured in the attack were transferred to the Army’s 92 Base Hospital in the cantonment of Srinagar city and most of them are kept under intensive care.

How the centre reacts?

Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi has expressed his shock on twitter. He has mentioned that the despicable crime has created a huge loss to the country. The bravery of our soldiers will not go in vain and the entire country is indebted to them. The nation will hold the responsibility of supporting the families of the dead soldiers, he said. He has wished the injured a speedy recovery.

Home Minister, Rajnath Singh cancelled his program to Bihar and has started to Srinagar today. He expressed his condolences saying the following -

"Today’s dastardly attack is extremely painful and disturbing. I bow to each and every CRPF jawan who has sacrificed his life in service to the nation,”

Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba will also meet the casualty.

Telangana Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao has cancelled his birthday celebrations and expressed his support for the victims.

Countries across the globe, including US have condemned the dastardly attack and have expressed their support to India.

Attempts to handle the disaster

The Prime Minister, today, has cancelled all the political programmes and called for the committee to increase the security measures in Pulwama. 

He has stated that Pakistan will pay a heavy price for indulging in terrorist attacks. In turn the Pakistani government has refused to accept the allegations made by the Indian government.

"We strongly reject any insinuation by elements in the Indian government and media circles that seek to link the attack to the State of Pakistan without investigations," Pakistan said.

Arrangements have been made to send the mortal remains of the dead soldiers to their respective homes. While most of the dead bodies have been identified, a few of them have been distorted beyond recognition.

The warning last week

Last week, on 8th of February, the Kashmiri police had sent a message of warning of possible bomb blast to CRPF, BSF, ITBP, SSB and the Army. Headlined extremely urgent, the message read the following,

"Sanitize areas properly before occupying your place or deployment as there are inputs that IEDs could be used".

The warning was shared with all security and military departments. Despite the strong red signal, the CRPF has allowed its bus to travel such a long stretch that resulted in such a huge disaster.