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37 CRPF personnel martyred in J&K terror attack; JeM claims responsibility

More than 2,500 CRPF, many of whom were returning from leave to rejoin duty in the Valley, were travelling in the convoy of 78 vehicles when they were ambushed on the Srinagar-Jammu highway in Awantipora.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh will be going to J&K on Friday besides DG, CRPF to take stock of the situation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured that the sacrifices of our brave security personnel shall not go in vain.

The CRPF convoy had left Jammu at around 3:30 AM on Thursday. A Road Opening Party accompanied the convoy. The convoy had 78 vehicles and nearly 2,500 personnel. The convoy had to reach Srinagar by the evening. 

But on the way, it was targeted in a terror attack. A bus belonging to 15th battalion of the force with 39 personnel on board was attacked in an IED blast and the terrorists fired upon other vehicles in the convoy.

The injured were shifted to Military Hospital in Srinagar.

Following the attack, forces cordoned off the entire area and launched searches. Security sources said the attack was the deadliest on CRPF in recent times.

As per officials, the number of personnel travelling back to the Valley was high as there was no movement on the highway for the last two to three days because of bad weather and other administrative reasons. Usually, about 1,000 personnel are part of a convoy but this time it was a total of 2,547 personnel.

A road opening party was deployed and the convoy had armoured counter-terror vehicles.

The suicide attack surpassed Uri attack casualties of 19 soldiers on 18 September 2016. A car bomb attack was carried out after 15 years.

Meanwhile, Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the suicide attack. Police said the terrorist driving the suicide vehicle was Adil Ahmad from Kakapora in Pulwama who joined the JeM in 2018. 

Governor Satyapal Malik spoke to NSA Ajit Doval and Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the Pulwama attack.

DG, CRPF RR Bhatnagar will go to Srinagar on Friday to take stock of the situation.

President Ram Nath Kovind has condemned the attack in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir. President in a tweet said: “Strongly condemn the terrorist attack in Pulwama, J&K. Thoughts and prayers with the families of martyrs and wishing an early recovery to those injured. The entire nation stands united in the fight against the forces of terror and evil.”

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said: “Shocked by the dastardly terrorist attack in which CRPF personnel were martyred. My heartfelt condolences to bereaved families and prayers for speedy recovery of the injured.”

In a firm response, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured that the sacrifices of our brave security personnel shall not go in vain.

He tweeted: “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.” He further wrote: ‘”Spoke to Home Minister Rajnath Singh Ji and other top officials regarding the situation in the wake of the attack in Pulwama.”

A tweet from the Prime Minister’s Office mentioned: ‘PM @narendramodi spoke to the National Security Advisor and took stock of the situation regarding the attack in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir.’

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted: “Today’s dastardly attack on crpf in Pulwama (J&K) is extremely painful and disturbing. I bow to each and every CRPF jawan who has sacrificed his life in service to the nation. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured.”

The Home Minister spoke to the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, DG CRPF and the Home Secretary regarding the Pulwama attack who apprised him of the situation. The Home Minister has cancelled his scheduled visit to Bihar on Friday even as the Ministry of Home Affairs is closely monitoring the situation.

Other Union Ministers also condemned the terror attack – Union Minister Arun Jaitley tweeted…’Attack on CRPF in #Pulwama, J&K is a cowardice & condemnable act of terrorists. Nation salutes martyred soldiers and we all stand united with families of martyrs. We pray for speedy recovery of the injured. Terrorists will be given unforgettable lesson for their heinous act’

Union Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted…’Deeply saddened by news of the IED blast in #Pulwama, Jammu & Kashmir in which our brave CRPF Jawans have been martyred. My thoughts are with the bereaved families and prayers with our injured Jawans to recover soon’

I&B Minister Colonel Rajyavardhan Rathore tweeted : ‘Condemn the despicable attack on @crpfindia jawans in #Pulwama. The cowardly enemy will NOT weaken our resolve. We WILL wipe out every terrorist from the country. We mourn the braveheart martyrs, and stand with their families in this difficult time’

Meanwhile, J&K Governor Satyapal Malik urged all Security Forces commanders to enhance surveillance on every front and directed the District and Divisional Civil and Police administration to immediately review the security management of all important installations and establishments….He observed that forces responsible for the insurgency in J&K are desperate and frustrated and just want to prove their presence.

With all-round condemnation coming for the Pulwama attack…and vigil enhanced in its aftermath…all eyes are on the progress that the investigation makes in this attack and…how India would respond with the Prime Minister assurance that sacrifice of our soldiers won’t go in vain.

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