A Year After Pulwama Attack

by Shatakshi Gupta

Last year, when the whole world was celebrating the day of love,i.e.,14th February, India was stunned by a gruesome terror attack that happened in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir. On 14th February 2019, a convoy of CRPF was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber on Jammu Srinagar National Highway at Lethpora in Pulwama district. 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives in this attack when a car loaded with explosives rammed into a bus of the convoy. The responsibility of the attack was taken by Pakistani based terror group, Jaish-e-Mohammed. The attack was conducted by a native of Pulwama Adil Ahmad Dar. This 22-year-old man joined the Jaish-e-Muhammad year ago and left his house in March 2018. This attack was the deadliest attack in Jammu and Kashmir since 1989.

When investigations were conducted by a 12 member team of National Investigation Agency in association with Jammu and Kashmir police, it was found that the Scorpio car which was used for the attack was carrying more than 300 kilograms of explosive including 80 kilograms of RDX. An Army official said that they might have stolen this amount of explosives from a construction site as it is impossible to smuggle such a huge amount of explosives across the border, but this was only his opinion it is not clear yet that from where the attacker accumulated this huge amount of explosive. However, the identity of the attacker was confirmed after DNA testing conducted by the National investigation agency.

The aftermath of the attack

There was a nationwide protest against Pakistan, people were carrying candle Marches to pay homage to Martyrs. The government of Punjab announced a compensation of rupees 12 lakh to the families of Martyrs from the state and promised a government job to the next kin. India also removed the Most Favoured Nation status of Pakistan and increased the customs duty on Pakistani products up to 200%. Also on international front India dragged Pakistan on the forum of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and was successful in convincing the FATF to put Pakistan in Grey list. After 2 days of the attack, the Indian government removes the securities of separatist leaders in Jammu and Kashmir. Many sports channels boycotted the broadcast of Pakistan Super League cricket matches. All Indian Cine Workers Association announced a ban on Pakistani actors. After 6 days a Pakistani prisoner in Jaipur Central jail was stabbed and thrashed to death by jail inmates. Kashmiris in the other parts of India was facing the rage of people, many incidents came up in which Kashmiri students and merchants were beaten in different parts of India.

The most important development after the attack was retaliation by India in form of Balakot airstrike, in which 12 Mirage jets of Indian air force crossed Line Of Control and bombarded Balakot area of Pakistan occupied Kashmir, where terror camps of Jaish-e-Mohammed were thriving. India claims that in this air strike at least 300 terrorists had been killed. In March Pakistan arrested 44 terrorists in this connection to save its face shaming.  In May 2019 India successfully convinced United Nations to declare Masood Azhar ( chief of Jaish-e-Mohammad ) an international terrorist.

Though India did a great job in giving a hard hand reply to Pakistan in various fronts, whether it is economically, diplomatically or militarily but the most frightful thing was that how a terrorist can easily get a huge amount of explosive and enters on a national highway, that too in one of the most sensitive zones of the country. It has now been a year past but till now it is not clear that who were the other people on the Indian side who helped the attacker. It is more important to spot the traitors inside our country, as there are more dangerous than terrorist coming from cross borders. Also, the government needs to take some steps to de-radicalize the youth of Kashmir because the terror organization uses these vulnerable youth and instigates them to perform lone wolf attacks. The economic and educational development of the region is the only way possible to de radicalized youth and include them in mainstream India.