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The Worst Terror Attack “Pulwama Attack”

A minimum of 40 CRPF soldiers lost their lives in a terrorist assault on Thursday, February 14 in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir. The CRPF personnel were en route in a bus, which was part of a convoy consisting of more than a thousand security personnel when a vehicle loaded with explosives collided with the bus and detonated. The Jaish-e-Mohammed has taken credit for the assault, which occurred on the Jammu-Srinagar highway. Prime Minister Narendra Modi denounced the attack and assured that the deceased's lives would not be in vain. 

The accountability for the assault was asserted by the Islamist terrorist group, Jaish-e-Mohammed, headquartered in Pakistan. India accused Pakistan of being responsible for the attack, while Pakistan denounced it and repudiated any links to it. This attack had a detrimental impact on the relations between India and Pakistan, leading to the India-Pakistan military standoff in 2019. Later on, Indian inquiries revealed 19 suspects. As of August 2021, the prime suspect and six accomplices were deceased, and seven were apprehended. 

What Was The History Behind the Attack 

Kashmir is a region that is claimed by both India and Pakistan, with both countries having administrative control over parts of the territory.Pakistan has attempted to gain control of the portion of Kashmir administered by India. In the late 1980s, an insurgency emerged in the Indian-administered portion of Kashmir, which was supported by Pakistan.Since 1989, approximately 70,000 people have lost their lives in the conflict and the Indian government  efforts to suppress it. According to Time magazine, unrest in Kashmir escalated in 2016 following the killing of a popular militant leader named Burhan Wani by Indian forces. A growing number of young people from the Indian-administered region have joined the insurgency. Many sources suggest that most of the militants in Kashmir are now local rather than foreign. In 2018 alone, the death toll included 260 militants, 160 civilians, and 150 government forces.

Since 2015, militants based in Pakistan have increasingly carried out high-profile suicide attacks against Indian security forces in Kashmir. In July 2015, three gunmen attacked a bus and police station in Gurdaspur. In September 2016, four attackers assaulted an Indian Army brigade headquarters in Uri, killing 19 soldiers. On December 31, 2017, militants attacked the Commando Training Centre at Lethpora, killing five security personnel. These attacks occurred in close proximity to the Jammu Srinagar National Highway. 

What Happened During The Attack 

On 14th February 2019, a group of 78 vehicles carrying over 2,500 personnel from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were moving from Jammu to Srinagar on National Highway 44. The convoy departed Jammu around 03:30 IST and was transporting a significant number of personnel due to the highway's closure for two days prior. The convoy's destination was set to be reached before dusk.

At Lethpora near Awantipora, approximately 3:15  IST, a car carrying explosives collided with a bus transporting security personnel. As a result, 40 CRPF personnel from the 76th Battalion lost their lives, and several others were injured. The injured were transferred to the army base hospital in Srinagar.

Jaish-e-Mohammed, a militant group based in Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the attack. Although Jaish-e-Mohammed leader  Masood Azhar is known to operate in the country, Pakistan denied any involvement. It is the deadliest terrorist attack on India's state security personnel in Kashmir since 1989. 

After The Attack Protest 

The demise of security personnel in the attack led to state funerals being held in their respective hometowns. The government of Punjab declared an ex gratia compensation of ₹12 lakh (US$15,000) for the families of the killed security personnel from the state, along with a government job for the next of kin. India withdrew Pakistan's most favoured nation status and increased the customs duty on all Pakistani goods imported to India to 200%. The Indian government appealed to the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) to blacklist Pakistan. Despite being on the 'grey list', FATF gave Pakistan time until October 2019 to meet the 27 conditions laid down in June 2018, failing which it would be added to the blacklist. On 17 February, the state administration cancelled the security provisions for separatist leaders.

Protests, bandhs and candle light marches took place across India. There were violent protests in Jammu, leading to a curfew being imposed on 14 February. The Indian community in the United Kingdom protested outside the Pakistan High Commission in London. DSport, an Indian broadcaster, announced that it would no longer broadcast Pakistan Super League cricket matches. The All Indian Cine Workers Association prohibited Pakistani actors and artists from working in the Indian film industry and warned of strict action against any organisation violating the ban. The Indian Film and Television Directors Association also enforced a ban on Pakistani artists in films and music produced in India, with the president of the organisation threatening to vandalise the sets of any Indian film production employing Pakistani artists.

Conclusion And What Satya Pal Malik Said on Pulwama Attack  

Gaurav Gogoi asserted over the weekend that during a recent media event, Union Home Minister Amit Shah avoided addressing the accusations made by Satya Pal Malik , who was serving as the governor of Jammu and Kashmir at the time. Malik had claimed that the Pulwama attack , which resulted in the deaths of 40 CRPF personnel, was due to a failure of intelligence. This statement by Malik sparked a political controversy, with opposition parties criticising the BJP-led government for its handling of the matter.  

During an interview with a news website, Satya Pal Malik accused that there were inadequacies in the security measures that ultimately resulted in the Pulwama attack in February 2019, causing the loss of 40 CRPF soldiers. He claimed that the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) had requested for aircraft to transport their troops, but the Union Home Ministry refused the request.  


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