We Will Never Forget: Ghastly Pulwama Terror Attack On India's CRPF Jawans That Shook The Nation
In a dastardly attack, on February 14 last year, a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorist, identified as Adil Ahmad Dar, rammed a vehicle carrying explosives into the Central Reserve Police Force (CPRF) convoy on Srinagar-Jammu national highway. The terror attack left as many as 44 CRPF jawans martyred after a convoy of 78 buses carrying 2500 CRPF personnel was blown up.
The nation came together to pay homage to the supreme sacrifice of the soldiers.
Three days after the ghastly attack, on February 17, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "I feel the same fire in my heart that's raging inside you."
He had assured that "all tears will be avenged" and the armed forces have been given "full freedom to decide the place, time, intensity and nature of the retaliation against the enemy."
Condemning the attack on the security forces of the country, the United Nations and several countries extended their support to India in the fight against terrorism. China also backed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution on the "cowardly" Pulwama terror attack.
In a step towards tackling terrorism, India had launched extensive diplomatic efforts to designate JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. On May 1, China lifted its hold on a proposal introduced in the 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council, which in turn labelled Azhar as a global terrorist.
The Retaliation With Airstrike
Nearly 12 days after the attack, on February 26, the Indian Air Force jets bombed the JeM camp in Balakot in a massive airstrike.
"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," the then Foreign Secretary said in a press conference later on the day of the strike.
A day later, the IAF also successfully foiled an attempt by Pakistan Air Force to strike at military bases in Jammu and Kashmir.
However, in an unfortunate incident, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman piloting a MiG-21 Bison aircraft was hit after he shot down the PAF's F-16.
He somehow managed to escape, but his parachute landed in PoK from where he was taken captive by Pakistani Army.
After constant international pressure on Pakistan, the country was compelled to release the IAF pilot two days later.
Memorial For CRPF Bravehearts
To pay homage to more than 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans who lost their lives in the deadly Pulwama terror attack, a memorial dedicated to the valour and sacrifice of the bravehearts was inaugurated at the Lethpora camp on Friday, February 14.
#Himveers of ITBP pays tribute & salutes the Bravehearts of @crpfindia, who made the supreme sacrifice today at Pulwama J&K on 14 February, 2019.#PulwamaTerrorAttack#Pulwamamartyrs pic.twitter.com/atgjOYFZ1n— ITBP (@ITBP_official) February 14, 2020
The names of all the 40 CRPF personnel and their pictures were inscribed in the memorial, which has been built adjacent to the site where the attack took place.
"It is a way to pay homage to the brave jawans who lost their lives in the attack," Additional Director General of CRPF, Zulfiqar Hasan said, adding, "The supreme sacrifice of the 40 jawans have solidified our resolve to eliminate enemies of the country."
A year later, Umesh Gopinath Jadhav, a Bengaluru-based musician, who visited the home of every Pulwama martyr and collected the soil from outside their houses in an earthen pot met DG Zulfiqar Hasan at the Lethpora camp and presented the pot.