Centre denies intelligence failure in Pulwama suicide attack

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New Delhi, Jun 26: Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy on Wednesday told Parliament there was no intelligence failure in the Pulwama attack, where a Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into a CRPF convoy, killing 40 personnel.

The minister’s assertion counters J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik’s remarks following the incident on February 14, wherein he had said the attack was “partly the result of an intelligence failure”, especially due to the fact that security forces could not detect the loading and movement of the explosive-laden vehicle.

When asked whether intelligence failure was one of the reasons for the Pulwama attack, Reddy said, “J&K is affected by terrorism sponsored and supported from across the border for the last three decades. However, owing to the policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism and sustained action against the terrorists by the security forces, a large number of terrorists have been neutralized during the past few years.”

Reddy further said the investigation by NIA into the attack has so far resulted in identifying the conspirators, suicide attacker and the vehicle provider.

“All agencies are working in a coordinated manner and the intelligence inputs are shared among various agencies on a real-time basis. The investigation by NIA into the Pulwama attack so far has resulted in identifying the conspirators, suicide attacker and the vehicle provider,” the minister stated.

Pertinently, speaking to ‘The Indian Express’ a day after the attack, the Governor Malik had admitted that while security forces were “eliminating” local militants, there was no warning or intelligence input about any of them being trained to become a “suicide bomber.”

“We could not detect or check the vehicle full of explosives moving on the highway. We must accept that we are at fault also. The fact that we did not know that there was a fidayeen among them is also part of the intelligence failure,” Malik had said.

Last week, security forces killed JeM militant Sajad Maqbool Bhat, who owned the Maruti Eeco van that was used in the Pulwama attack, in an encounter in Anantnag in south Kashmir. According to police records, Sajad had joined the militant ranks on February 22 this year, eight days after the Pulwama suicide attack.

On 14 February this year, 40 Central Reserve Police Forces (CRPF) personnel were killed in the Pulwama suicide attack. The incident took place when a CRPF convoy, consisting of around 2,500 personnel, was attacked by a suicide bomber who rammed a car laden with explosives into one of the buses on the Jammu-Srinagar highway near Lethpora in Pulwama district.

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