Forty Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were killed, on the 14th of February, in one of the deadliest bomb blasts in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir.
The incident was more severe than the terror attack in Uri in 2016, in Jammu and Kashmir. The incident took place around 3:15 P.M., on the Jammu and Srinagar Highway in Latoomode, Awantipora.
A suicide attacker rammed a Mahindra Scorpio, a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV,) full of 350 kg explosives, into a bus in which 40 CRPF Jawans were seated. Approximately 2,500 jawans were returning from their leave and were travelling in a convoy of 78 vehicles when the attack took place.
The explosion killed the 40 personnel seated in the bus, whereas several others were critically injured as the blast affected the other vehicles in the convoy as well.
R.R. Bhatnagar, DG (Directorate General) of CRPF said, “It was a large convoy and about 2,500 personnel were travelling in multiple vehicles. Some shots were also fired at the convoy.”
An official said, “There are no survivors on the bus.” In addition, a senior security establishment officer said, “The bodies are dismembered and mutilated making it difficult for doctors to give the exact number of casualties.”
According to sources, Jaish e Mohammad (JeM,) a terrorist group, warned the authorities of Jammu and Kashmir about the possibility of a suicide attack two days before the incident happened. The Jammu and Kashmir authorities deemed the Jaish e Mohammad is responsible for the attack and launched an investigation towards the same.
It is yet to be known how the attackers carried out the attack despite the tight security on the Jammu and Srinagar Highway.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saddened by the terror attack, took to Twitter and said, the sacrifice of the jawans 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.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 14, 2019
V.K. Singh, a Union Minister, also took to Twitter and said, “As a soldier and a citizen of India, my blood boils at the spineless and cowardly attacks. 18 brave hearts from the @crpfindia laid down their lives in #Pulwama. I salute their selfless sacrifice & promise that every drop of our soldier’s blood will be avenged. #JaiHind.”
Politicians expressed their anger and accused Pakistan for the attack. Mehbooba Mufti, Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and others took to Twitter and expressed grief regarding the loss of the jawans’ lives.
आज कृतज्ञ भारत उन सभी वीर जवानों को जिन्होंने अपने प्राणों का बलिदान किया है, उन्हें अपनी श्रद्धांजलि अर्पित करता है तथा इस कठिन घड़ी में उनके परिवारों के साथ पूरी तरह खड़ा है।शान्ति और अमन को भंग करने वाले सभी तत्वों के नापाक मंसूबों को नाकाम करने के लिए हम दृढ़संकल्पित हैं
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) February 14, 2019
On a day when countless CRPF soldiers have lost their lives fighting for their motherland, your priority is to build Ram Mandir in Ayodhya? This is nauseating. https://t.co/46CMGbI7lZ
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) February 14, 2019
The Cabinet Committee on Security called for a meeting, which is scheduled on the 15th of February.
Stay tuned for further updates.