Pulwama Attacks

On 14 February 2019, a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber at  Lethpora  in the Pulwama district, Jammu and Kashmir, India. The attack resulted in the deaths of 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and the attacker. A Jaish-e-Mohammed member named Adil Ahmad Dar, a Kashmiri local, was identified as the attacker.

A convoy of 78 vehicles transporting more than 2500 CRPF personnel, was going from Jammu to Srinagar on National Highway 44. The convoy had left Jammu around 3:30 IST and was carrying a large number of personnel due to the highway having been shut down for two days prior. The convoy was scheduled to reach the destination before sunset.

Around 15:15 IST, a bus carrying security personnel was rammed by a Mahindra Scorpio SUV carrying explosives. It caused a blast which killed 40 CRPF personnel of the 76th Battalion and injured many others. The injured were moved to the army base hospital in Srinagar. Pakistan-based militant group  Jaish-e-Mohammed  claimed responsibility for the attack. They also released a video of the assailant Adil Ahmad Dar, a 22-year old from Kakapora who had joined the group a year ago. Dar’s family had last seen him in March 2018, when he left his house on a bicycle one day and never returned. Pakistan denied any involvement and Jaish-e-Mohammed leader, Masood Azhar, roams free in that country.

It is the deadliest terror attack on India’s state security personnel in Kashmir since 1989. State funerals of security personnel killed in the attack were held in their respective native places. The government of Punjab announced a compensation of ₹12 lakh each to the families of the killed security personnel from the state and a government job to the next of kin.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attack and expressed solidarity with the victims and their families. India has revoked Pakistan's most favoured nation status. The customs duty on all Pakistani goods imported to India have been raised to 200 per cent.  Protests bandhs and candle light marches are being held across India. There have been violent protests in Jammu resulting in a curfew being imposed since 14 February. The Indian community in UK held protests outside the Pakistan High Commission in London. A delegation of Indian doctors cancelled their visit to Pakistan for the 13th Association of
Anaesthesiologists Congress (SAARC) in Lahore on 7 March.

Following intelligence inputs, in the early morning hours of 18 February, a joint team comprising 55  Rashtriya Rifles , CRPF and Special Operations Group of India killed two terrorists and two terrorist abettors in an anti-terrorism encounter operation in the ensuing manhunt for the perpetrators in Pulwama. One of them, Abdul Rasheed Ghazi alias Kamran, was identified as a Pakistani national and was considered the mastermind of the attack and a commander of the terrorist group Jaish-e-Muhammed. Another local JeM recruit Hilal Ahmed along with two sympathisers who housed Ghazi and Ahmed in their homes to evade capture were also shot dead in the encounter. Four Indian servicemen were also sadly killed in the gunfight.

BBC News has said that the involvement of the Jaish-e-Mohammed in the bombing directly links; Pakistan to the attack. It is widely accepted among security analysts that Jaish-e- Mohammed is the creation of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, which continues to provide it backing. The Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley has said that India would completely isolate Pakistan in the diplomatic community. Indian broadcaster  DSport  said it would no longer broadcast Pakistan Super League cricket matches. The All Indian Cine Workers Association announced a total ban on Pakistani actors and artists in the country.

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