2019 Pulwama Attack: CRFP Says We Were Not Prepared For Suicide Attacks On Our Convoy

The 2019 Pulwama Attack last year on February 14 changed the dynamic if India-Pakistan relations. Lethpora area of ​​South Kashmir was like the rest of any Kashmiri area till 14:10 PM on the afternoon of 14 February 2019.

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But the next minute changed everything. Lethpora saw one of the deadliest attacks on the Indian security forces when a suicide bomber rammed his Maruti Suzuki Eeco Car in the CRPF convoy travelling from Jammu to Srinagar. More than 40 CRPF personnel were killed in the blast.

But after this incident, questions were asked on what had been done so that incidents like Pulwama Attack are not repeated.

Anand Prakash Maheshwari, Director General of CRPF, told the BBC, “CRPF is constantly improving its capabilities in terms of strategy and weapons. And these capabilities are not only to thwart the enemy’s plan but also destroy their entire network of terror module. “

Several CRPF officials had confirmed to the BBC that no action was taken on anyone after this suicide attack. On the condition of anonymity, a senior officer said, “There was no lapse during the Pulwama attack, so there is no question of taking action on anyone.

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That day we were ready for all kinds of attacks but we were not prepared for the suicide attack on our convoy. However, there is a data other than the statement of the CRPF official which confirmed that the vehicle was not used as an explosive by the militants for the first time.

According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, a suicide bomber detonated a car in Naugam on November 2, 2005, killing three policemen and six civilians. When the BBC spoke to former CRPF IG VPS Panwar, he said, “CRPF remains in the fire department’s mode which is sent from one crisis to another. According to me, Pulwama was a big mistake. I do not know how much this force has learned from it. “

A senior CRPF official, who did not wish to be named, said, “Our air services have very little capacity to ferry CRPF personnel between Jammu and Srinagar. Now the soldiers can take private flights and the government will refund the money. “

The work on CCTV network is going on on Jammu-Srinagar highway. After this network is ready, its live broadcast will be available which will assist in monitoring and maintaining security challenges. Efforts are also on to remove the trucks parked on the side of the highway while the security forces pass through the highway.

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The charge sheet for the investigation of this attack has not been submitted in the court so far. On 20 February last year, the investigation of this case was submitted to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), there are many reasons for not presenting the charge sheet.

The NIA had last September filed a charge sheet alleging that JeM’s Sajjad Ahmad Khan, a close aide of Pulwama attack mastermind Mudassir Ahmad Khan, was conspiring terror acts across India.

The supplementary charge sheet was filed against four JeM operatives under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 121 A (waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the government of India) of IPC, and various sections of stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and sections of Explosives Substances Act.

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The agency filed the charge sheet against Sajjad Ahmad Khan (27), Bilal Ahmad Mir (23), Ishfaq Ahmad Bhat (24) and Mehraj-ud-Din Chopan (22), all residents of Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Investigation has established that the accused persons are members of proscribed terrorist organisation JeM, who were planning to carry out terrorist attacks and propagating the activities of JeM,” the NIA said.

“The slain terrorist Mudassir Ahmad Khan was the mastermind behind this conspiracy. He was one of the main conspirators in Pulwama terror attack as well and was killed in an encounter with police and security forces in Tral area of district Pulwama J&K on March 10, last year,” the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said.

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Charges were abated against Mudassir after he was killed in an encounter with the security forces in March 2019, the NIA said in the final report. According to the agency, Sajjad was directly in touch with Mudassir while Ishfaq was involved in the transportation of arms and ammunition for strengthening JeM in Kashmir and further harboured the operatives of JeM.

One hand grenade was recovered from the possession of Mehraj-ud-din Chopan and it was obtained with the aim of using the same against the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir for snatching their weapons. This case pertains to a criminal conspiracy hatched by senior commanders of JeM to carry out terror attacks in different parts of India including Delhi-NCR.