Four years since 40 Indian soldiers were killed in the brutal terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, PM Modi on Tuesday took to Twitter and remembered their sacrifice. The attack was carried out by the Pakistani terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed, which is led by Masood Azhar.
Web Desk for India Today On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi honoured the gallant troops who perished in a terrorist attack on their convoy on February 14 in Pulwama, Jammu & Kashmir.
The prime minister posted on Twitter that he was “remembering our valiant warriors who we died on this day in Pulwama.”
40 members of the Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed on February 14 when terrorists attacked a convoy of 78 vehicles carrying more than 2,500 CRPF members from Jammu to Srinagar.
Due to the route being closed for two days, the convoy had left Jammu about 03:30 IST and was carrying a lot of soldiers. It was planned for the convoy to arrive at its destination.
The attack was carried out at Lethapora in the Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Adil Ahmad Dar, a perpetrator who was also a young Kashmiri man from the Pulwama district, was also slain along with the soldiers.
India accused Pakistan of being behind the attack, while Pakistan denounced it and said it had nothing to do with it.
The investigation was taken up by a 12-person team from the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which collaborated with the Jammu and Kashmir Police.
According to preliminary investigations, the vehicle was believed to be carrying more than 300 kilogrammes (660 lb) of explosives, including 80 kilogrammes (180 lb) of the high explosive RDX and ammonium nitrate.
As soon as DNA tests from “meagre bits of the automobile” used in the suicide bombing matched with Adil Ahmad Dar’s father, the NIA was able to determine and authenticate the identity of the suicide bomber.
Despite a year of study, the NIA was unable to identify the explosives’ origin.
In all, 19 people were named as suspects in the chargesheet that the NIA submitted in August 2020.
BALAKOT AND AFTERMATH AIRSTRIKE
On February 26 of that year, several Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 aircraft crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and dropped bombs on the Pakistani city of Balakot. India asserted that it attacked a Jaish-e-Mohammed training facility and killed several terrorists—between 300 and 350, according to reports.
In retaliation for the Indian bombing, the Pakistan Air Force launched an airstrike into Jammu & Kashmir the following day. India and Pakistan both agreed that Pakistan’s airstrike had not damaged anything. However, in an ensuing fight between Indian and Pakistani jets, an Indian MiG-21 was shot down over Pakistan and its pilot, Abhinandan Varthaman, was captured.
Varthaman was shown in footage and photos that Pakistan published being rescued by its soldiers from a tumultuous throng of locals, given first aid, and being interrogated while wearing a blindfold.
On March 1, 2019, Varthaman was finally freed from Pakistani captivity for what Pakistan said were humanitarian reasons and returned to India via the Wagah border crossing.