The nation mourns as a deadly attack on the security forces in the Kashmir valley claimed as high as and nearly 40 lives of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel on Thursday. The entire attack was concluded with the help of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and a report claims it to be a fidayeen (suicide) attack. The convoy comprising of around 2,500 CRPF personnel in 78 vehicles, was heading towards Srinagar from Jammu through Jammu-Srinagar highway when the attack was carried out followed by several gun firing on the convoy.
The convoy had commenced their journey from Jammu at 3.30am and had to report to Srinagar before the sunset, police official informed. As per reports, the convoy was ambushed at Latoomode in Awantipora at 3.15pm, where the nation lost nearly 40 CRPF personnel and left many injured. Reports also claim that the blast was followed by some gun shots on the vehicles. The vehicle carrying 42 CRPF personnel was extensively damaged due to the blast while some report a fidayeen driven explosive laden vehicle banged the CRPF vehicle which resulted in this massive loss to the nation. The blast was so deadly that the aftermath scene showed body parts ensanguined in blood strewn at the spot.
The Pakistan backed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group has claimed it’s hand in the attack, as per a text message claimed to have been sent by JeM militant to the local news agency, reported ANI. The most wanted terrorist, Masood Azhar, is the prominent leader of JeM which has claimed to have conducted a fidayeen attack on the security forces on Thursday. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the cowardly attack by the Pakistan housed JeM terrorists group and assured the nation that the martyrdom of the deceased brave CRPF personnel will not go in vain. “Attack on CRPF personnel in Pulwama is despicable. I strongly condemn this dastardly attack. The sacrifices of our brave security personnel shall not go in vain. The entire nation stands shoulder to shoulder with the families of the brave martyrs. May the injured recover quickly,” tweeted PM Modi after the attack.
Among the others to condemn the attack were the local parties of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and National Conference (NC), which stepped forward to condemn the dastardly attack on the security forces in the valley. “Disturbing news coming in from #awantipura. Twelve of our security personnel have been martyred and several have been injured. No words are enough to condemn the gruesome terror attack. How many more lives will be snuffed out before this madness ends?” PDP chief and former chief minister of J&K, Mehbooba Mufti, tweeted condemning the attack. “Terrible news coming from the valley. A number of CRPF soldiers are reported to have been killed & injured in an IED blast. I condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms. My prayers for the injured & condolences to the families of the bereaved. #Kashmir” tweeted former chief minister of J&K and NC president, Omar Abdullah.
The Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, spoke to the news agency ANI and assured for a strong avenge against the culprits. “The attack was carried out by Pakistan backed Jaish-e-Mohammed. A strong reply will be given and I assure the people of the country this. The country pays tribute to the brave jawans who were martyred,” told Singh to ANI, after the attack. Singh will also visit the spot to review the security situation and identify the security lapses which brought the nation this huge loss. As per sources, the PM Modi led cabinet ministry will hold a meeting on Friday morning on the national security.
This attack is considered as one of the deadliest attack after over a decade on any Indian security forces. In a similar attack in 2004, the Border Security Forces (BSF) lost around 28 jawans when their convoy was attacked in a similar style. The nation demands the repeat of surgical strike on terror groups as conducted in September 2016 by the Indian Army in the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) on the behest of PM Modi and National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval. The surgical strike was conducted as a response to the cowardly attack of Pakistan backed terrorists on the unarmed soldiers in Uri, Baramulla district of J&K, on September 18, 2016 at around 5.30am. The attack had killed 19 soldiers which had brought the ruling central government, PM Modi led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled government under tremendous pressure for their inaction. The retaliatory surgical strike had claimed more than dozens of terrorists’ launch pads situated in PoK.
(With inputs from ANI and TOI)