Press Trust of india

PM says militants will pay heavy price for Pulwama attack

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New Delhi, Feb 15:  Warning Pakistan that it cannot weaken India by orchestrating attacks such as the one on CRPF personnel in Pulwama, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said those responsible will pay "a very heavy price" and government forces will be given a free hand to deal with militants.

In a hard-hitting speech, Modi said the "blood of the people is boiling" and forces behind the “act of terrorism” will definitely be punished.

"I want to tell the terror outfits and those aiding and abetting them that they have made a big mistake. They will have to pay a very heavy price for their actions. Let me assure the nation that those behind this attack, the perpetrators of this attack will be punished," Modi said at a function to flag off the Vande Bharat Express, India's fastest train from Delhi to Varanasi.

He said the government forces have been given "complete freedom".

"Security forces have been given complete freedom, the blood of the people is boiling...Our neighbouring country, which has been isolated internationally is in a state of illusion, thinks such terror attacks can destabilise us, but their plans will not materialise," Modi said.

On Thursday, an explosives laden truck rammed into a CRPF convoy in Pulwama outside Srinagar, killing 49 soldiers in one of the biggest attacks in recent years.

"My condolences to families of those martyred in Pulwama attack, those behind the terror strike will pay a very heavy price," Modi said.

"I am thankful to all nations which condemned Pulwama attack and urge them to come together to crush terrorism. The forces behind this act of terrorism and those responsible for it, will definitely be punished," he said.

Appealing to his critics to not politicise the tragedy, Modi said the attacks have left the country emotional.

"I understand the sentiments of those criticising us but I urge them that it is an emotional time, so stay away from political one-upmanship.

"It is my request to all my friends that it is a very sensitive and emotional moment and the nation stands united in its fight against terror. We should speak in one voice and rise above politics. The message which should go across the world is that we are one nation, one voice in our fight against terror, the fight which we have to win," he said

Earlier in the morning, the CCS meet was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the security scenario in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the Pulwama attack.

SECURITY LAPSE:

‘Intelligence warning of IED attack was sent to all agencies week back’

New Delhi, Feb 15:  The Kashmir Police had on February 08 sent an intelligence input to the CRPF, BSF, ITBP, SSB, Army and the Air Force warning of a possible IED attack, according to a letter written by the state police Inspector General.

It is not known why despite the early warning, the CRPF allowed its 78-vehicle convoy carrying 2,547 security personnel to go from the transit camp in Jammu to Srinagar -- a 270 km stretch.

In the worst-ever attack since militancy erupted in the state, 49 CRPF personnel died and many others were injured on Thursday afternoon when a suicide bomber belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammed rammed his vehicle packed with improvised explosive device (IED) into a bus carrying Central paramilitary force personnel.

The intelligence input, sent on behalf of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, asked all security agencies to "sanitize areas properly before occupying your place or deployment as there are inputs that IEDs could be used."

Marked "Extremely Urgent", the letter accessed by a news agency, was marked to the Deputy Inspector General of Central Reserve Police Force, South Srinagar; DIG CRPF, North Srinagar; DIG CRPF North Kashmir, Baramulla; DIG CRPF South Kashmir, Awantipora; DIG CRPF South Kashmir, Anantnag; DIG Sashastra Seema Bal, South Headquarters (Special Operations) Kashmir and all Senior Superintendents of Police of Kashmir zone.

The information was also shared with Inspector General, CRPF, Kashmir operations sector, IG CRPF, Srinagar sector, IG Border Security Force Headquarter Kashmir, all range Deputy Inspector Generals of Police of Kashmir zone, Brigadier General Staff (operations) at the Srinagar-based 15 Corps, the DIG Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the Air Force, , the Commandant Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and SSP, Armed Police, Control Room Srinagar.

The letter also mentioned that it should be for "all concerned".

A suicide bomber, affiliated with JeM group, rammed his SUV packed with explosives into a CRPF bus on the Srinagar-Jammu highway in Pulwama district, killing 49 troopers and leaving the security established stunned. The incident took place around 3.15 pm., triggering a deafening explosion.

The JeM later claimed responsibility for the attack and released a video clip of the suicide bomber, a militant identified as Adil Ahmad Dar, which it claimed was shot before the young man carried out the strike in Lethpora, about 30 km from here.

So devastating was the attack -- one report spoke of 200 kg of explosives, including probably RDX, packed into the SUV -- that the CRPF bus was left in a mangled heap, many of its occupants losing their limbs.

CRPF officials said the bus which was the main target of the militants was completely destroyed while another CRPF vehicle was partly damaged.

"It is difficult to believe how anyone in that bus could have survived," said a police officer.

This is the worst single attack in Jammu and Kashmir since militancy began in 1989. It is also the worst attack carried out by militants after the one on the Uri Army camp on September 18, 2016 left 19 soldiers dead.

Officials said the reason why so many CRPF personnel were on the move at one go was because the Srinagar-Jammu highway had been shut for the past two days due to bad weather. The convoy left Jammu before dawn.(Agencies)

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