“Terrorism has become a festering wound. It is an enemy of humanity.” – Atal Bihari Vajpayee
On 14th February 2019, India shook to its core when a terror attack in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, resulted in the death of 40 CRPF soldiers. Pakistan-based Islamic militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack.
This hasn’t been the first case of attacks on the country’s security forces, but it has been the deadliest yet – causing the highest number of casualties since the 2001 attack on the J&K Assembly.
Previous Attacks on Security Forces
- Starting in 2015, Pakistan-based militants in Kashmir increasingly took to high-profile suicide attacks against the Indian security forces. In July 2015, three gunmen attacked a bus and a police station in Gurdaspur.
- Early in 2016, four to six gunmen attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station.
- In Pampore, nine and eight security personnel were killed by militants in February and June, 2016.
- In September 2016, four assailants attacked an Indian Army Brigade HQ in Uri, killing 19 soldiers.
- On 31 December 2017, the Commando Training Center at Lethpora was also attacked by militants killing five security personnel. All of these attacks took place in the vicinity of the Jammu Srinagar National Highway.
How the Pulwama Attack Unfolded
On February 14th,a convoy of 78 vehicles transporting more than 2500 Central Reserve Police Force personnel from Jammu and Kashmir, was travelling on National Highway 44. The convoy had left Jammu around 3:30 IST and was carrying a large number of personnel due to the highway having been shut down for two days prior. It was scheduled to reach the destination before sunset. At Lethpora near Awantipora, around 15:15 IST, a bus carrying security personnel was rammed by a Mahindra Scorpio SUV carrying explosives. It caused a blast which killed 40 CRPF personnel of the 76th Battalion, and injured many others. The injured were moved to the army base hospital in Srinagar.
Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed, who had claimed responsibility for the attack, released a video of the assailant Adil Ahmad Dar (alias Adil Ahmad Gaadi Takranewala or Waqas Commando), a 22-year old from Kakapora who had joined the group about a year ago. Dar’s family had last seen him in March 2018, when he left his house on a bicycle one day, and never returned. Pakistan denied any involvement, but Jaish-e-Mohammed’s leader, Masood Azhar, is a free man in its territory.
The tremors of this incident shook every faction of society, with people taking to social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook to express their opinions. Online wallet companies such as Google Pay and Paytm created a separate option where users could contribute to the CRPF fund which would be utilized for the martyred soldiers’ families. With candles in their hands, people across the national capital gathered at Connaught Place on Sunday evening to pay their tributes to the 40 CRPF soldiers who died in the Pulwama terror attack on Thursday. They were seen holding national flags, and posters with the names of all the 40 CRPF personnel. A minute’s silence was also observed as a mark of respect to the brave hearts.
Diplomatic Consequences of the Attack
On Sunday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that there was a “fire in his herat” over the bombing of the CRPF convoy. He added that the sacrifices of the jawans at Pulwama “will not go in vain.” Union Minister Arun Jaitley, too, tweeted that the terrorists “will be given unforgettable lesson for their heinous act.”
State funerals of security personnel killed in the attack were held in their respective native places. The government of Punjab announced an ex gratia compensation of ₹12 lakh (US $17,000) each to the families of the martyred security personnel from the state, and a government job to the next of kin.
- India revoked Pakistan’s most favored nation status.
- The customs duty on all Pakistani goods imported to India was raised to 200 per cent.
- The government of India plans to provide the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering with a dossier outlining Pakistan’s involvement in the attack
- On 17 February, the administration of Jammu & Kashmir revoked security provisions for separatist leaders.
- The All Indian Cine Workers Association also announced on Monday (18th February) that it would ban the production or release of media content by Pakistani artists in the country, saying they will resort to strong action against anyone who collaborates with talent from Pakistan.
As a nation, we are very patriotic when it comes to matters regarding our borders, or the lives of our soldiers. But where does this patriotism go when our society is plagued by social terrors? We have our Josh set high, but at wrong times.
“How’s the Josh?” “High Sir”
By watching Uri and playing PUBG, we as a nation have decided to go to war with Pakistan. Why? Who gave us the authority to do so? Yes, we should respect the sacrifices made, but that does not give us the right to go to war with another country and sacrifice the parents and money-makers of other people’s families. As citizens, when we hear this news we straight away go to Facebook and Instagram to post patriotic news and updates, and write posts on why and how we should avenge our dead brothers and sisters, never realizing that if we go to war, we will be snatching someone else’s father, someone else’s symbol of hope. Going to war with Pakistan would ensure going to war with China, as China has heavily invested in Pakistan. As responsible citizens we should not let our emotions get the best of us. Rather than forcing the government to do something, let’s support the decisions it has made, and in the meantime, help the grief stricken families to stand up on their feet again and achieve their dreams and goals.
Sources: NDTV.com, Economic Times, Hindustan Times