Press Trust of india

Amit Shah pays tributes to CRPF men killed in 2019 Pulwama attack

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Srinagar: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday paid homage to 40 CRPF personnel who were killed in the deadly Pulwama suicide attack in February 2019, an incident which had nearly brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war.

Shah, who was on a four-day visit to the Union territory, laid a floral wreath at the memorial constructed last year for the victims of the attack carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammad.

The Home minister was scheduled to return to Delhi on Monday, but extended his stay to spend the night with CRPF personnel at CRPF Campus in Lethpora in Pulwama. The venue is at a stone’s throw distance from the site of the deadly car bomb attack.

Shah’s visit to the martyrs memorial has an added layer of symbolism as it comes on a day marking 74 years of Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India.

Following the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, October 26 has been declared a public holiday in the Union territory.

The Home minister later took to Twitter to pay tributes to the martyrs.

“At Pulwama martyrs memorial, paid tributes to the brave CRPF jawans who were martyred in the cowardly attack. The supreme sacrifice you made for the security of the nation makes our resolve stronger for uprooting the menace of terrorism. My revered tributes to the brave martyrs,” he tweeted in Hindi.

Shah had also planted a sapling in the memory of the martyrs.

A suicide bomber of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) group had attacked the CRPF convoy in Pulwama district on February 14, 2019, leaving 40 personnel dead. India then launched a “counter-terror airstrike against a JeM training camp in Balakot” on February 26.

The next day, Pakistan Air Force had retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured its pilot Wing Commander Abhinanadan Varthaman, who was later released.

Addressing the CRPF personnel Monday night, Shah had said the Modi government has a zero-tolerance policy towards terror, and while the situation has improved a lot in Jammu and Kashmir, “we should not be satisfied till total peace is achieved”.

“I want to spend one night with you people and understand your problems,” he said, adding that it was his “most important” engagement during his visit to the Union territory.

The minister had said that the law and order situation has improved a lot in Jammu and Kashmir, adding that he was hopeful “we will be able to realise a peaceful Jammu and Kashmir as envisaged by Prime Minister Modi during our lifetime”.

“Stone-pelting incidents are only seen when we try to look for them. There was a time when stone pelting was common in Kashmir. Such incidents have decreased to a huge extent. But, I want to say that there is no need to be satisfied,” Shah said.

“Narendra Modi government has a zero-tolerance policy towards terrorism. We cannot bear it. It is against humanity. It should be our priority to save the people of Kashmir from the persons who are linked to this heinous crime against humanity,” he had said.

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