2019 Pulwama Attack: Revising Pulwama On First Anniversary
On 14th February 2019, a vehicle-borne suicide bomber attacked a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel in Lethpora in the Pulwama district in Jammu and Kashmir. Planned by a Pakistan-based Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammed, the attack claimed lives 40 personnel of security forces.
Over 2,500 personnel from Central Reserve Police Force were traveling in a convoy of 78 vehicles from Jammu to Srinagar on the fateful day. They left their base in Jammu around 03:30 IST and they were expected to reach their destination in Srinagar before sunset. The National Highway 44 was shut for their movement two days before.
Whey the convoy reached Lethpora near Awantipora around 15:15 IST, a car carrying explosives rammed into a bus carrying security personnel of the 76th Battalion. The resulting blast left 40 CRPF personnel dead and as many injured that were quickly shifted to Srinagar base hospital for treatment.
Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed took responsibility of the attack while releasing a video of the assailant who was a local 22-year boy from Kakapora. He was Adil Ahmad Dar and his family said that they hadn’t seen him since March 2018. They said that he left the home on bicycle and never turned back. But Pakistan denied any involvement in the attack.
Adil Ahmad Dar alias Adil Ahmad GaadiTakranewala or Waqas Commando was reportedly arrested six times between September 2016 and March 2018, the day when he left his home. According to his family, he became radicalized after getting ill-treatment by Indian authorities. But he was released without any charges each time he was arrested.
A 12-member team of the National Investigation Agency working with Jammu and Kashmir Police concluded that the car was loaded with more than 300 kg of explosives. According to Lt. Gen. Hooda, the explosives were stolen from construction sites but he also didn’t rule smuggling of the explosives from across the border.
The slain security personnel were offered state funeral in their respective native states. After the funeral, India revoked the most favoured nation status from Pakistan. Also, a manhunt was launched for the perpetrators and supporters of the anti-terrorism encounter operation in the state.The Kashmiri students studying in other parts of the country reported backlash including violence and harassment.
On 26 February, Indian Air Force sent 12 Mirage 2000 jets to Pakistan to bomb a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Balakot. Pakistani jets also attacked Jammu and Kashmir and the ensuing battle left an Indian pilot Abinandan captured by Pakistan. But the Indian pilot was soon safely returned to India.
Pulwama attack was widely condemned by international community with the US categorically warning Pakistan to stop sheltering terrorists and punish the perpetrators of the attack.