One of the deadliest terror attacks on security forces occurred on this day last year when at least 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CPRF) personnel were killed and another 20 injured when a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorist drove an explosive-laden SUV into a convoy of vehicles carrying paramilitary troops on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district at around 3 pm on this day last year.
What Happened On February 14 Pulwama attack?
The convoy from Jammu has plied only thrice in the last fortnight, as snow blocked the road and CRPF jawans were stranded in Jammu since February 4.
16 vehicles dropped out at Qazigund on reaching the destination but 16 ‘mobile bunkers’ joined the convoy to deal with terrorist ambushes which increase beyond Qazigund. The convoy left Qazigund at 2:38 pm.
An explosive-laden vehicle entered the Jammu-Srinagar highway at Latoomode of Awantipora in Pulwama from a left bylane. It overtook a bus, fifth in the convoy and exploded. The bus was blown to smithereens. The sixth bus was also impacted by the blast.
The convoy of 78 vehicles, transporting 2,547 jawans, left Jammu transit camp at 3:30 am. The jawans were returning from leave or going to areas of deployment.
Around 40 CRPF jawans died, 39 in the 5th bus and one from the ROP. Five more men in the sixth bus were injured
This is the first time a suicide bomber in an explosive-laden vehicle has attacked a CRPF convoy. About 80kg of explosives were used for the attack.
India’s response to Pulwama attack:
Tensions sprang between India and Pakistan after the attack. India summoned Pakistan’s top envoy and lodged a strong protest.
Prime Minister asserted that the security forces have been given permission to choose the timing, place, and nature of their response to the Pulwama terror attack.
“All tears will be avenged” says the armed forces have been given “full freedom to decide the place, time, intensity and nature of the retaliation against the enemy. “I feel the same fire in my heart that’s raging inside you,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.
Nationwide protests erupted against the dastardly terror attack. Several countries including Pakistan’s all-weather friend China condemned the attack.
After 12 days of the attack, in the wee hours of February 26, Indian Air Force jets bombed the JeM camp in Balakot, in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The then Foreign Secretary said in a press conference later in the day, “In an intelligence-led operation in the early hours of today(Feb 26), India struck the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot. In this operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated. This facility at Balakot was headed by MAULANA YOUSUF AZHAR (alias USTAD GHOURI), the brother-in-law of MASOOD AZHAR, Chief of JeM.”