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Last Updated : Feb 14, 2020 04:24 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

One year to Pulwama attack: What had happened and how India retaliated

Several countries from across the world condemned the deadly attack, including China, which is an “all-weather friend” of Pakistan.


365 days have passed since 40 CRPF (Central Reserved Police Force) were martyred in a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district. The attack was followed by intense military skirmishes across the India-Pakistan border.

Here is a look at what had happened on February 14, 2019 and the events that unfolded in its aftermath:

The attack

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On this day last year, at around 3 pm, a suicide bomber had rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a CRPF convoy at the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway near Awantipora in J&K’s Pulwama district. The convoy, consisting of 78 buses carrying around 2,500 soldiers, was on its way to Srinagar from Jammu.

The explosion killed 40 soldiers and injured 35 others, making it the deadliest attack on India’s security personnel in Kashmir since 1989.

Pulwama: The terrorist attack, which martyred 40 CRPF personnel in Pulwama, shocked the nation and brought India on a brink of war with Pakistan after the country's forces responded by conducting the Balakot airstrikes. (Image: PTI)

The suicide bomber was later identified as 22-year-old Adil Ahmed Dar from Kakapora in Pulwama. Pakistan-backed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) had claimed responsibility of the attack.

The reaction

Political leaders cut across party lines to condemn the attack in unison and called for an appropriate response. Days after the attack took place, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said, “I feel the same fire in my heart that is raging inside you.”

Several countries from across the world condemned the deadly attack, including China, which is an “all-weather friend” of Pakistan.

Read Also |  Pulwama attack anniversary: PM Modi, leaders across party lines pay tribute to CRPF martyrs

The United Nations Security Council passed a resolution on the “heinous and cowardly” Pulwama terror attack, which was adopted by the permanent as well as non-permanent members.

In addition, India expedited its diplomatic efforts to get Masood Azhar – chief of JeM, which was responsible for the terror attack – designated as a global terrorist.

The response

Around 12 days after the attack, in the wee hours on February 26, 2019, the Indian Air Force (IAF) launched an attack on JeM camps in Balakot, located in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan.

The airstrike, in which IAF jet planes had crossed the Line of Control (LoC), was the first such retaliation by India since the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971.

Balakot camp (Image: Reuters)

At that time, the Foreign Secretary had said India had “struck the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot”. In the operation, “a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of Jihadis, who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated,” the statement by the foreign secretary said.

Read Also: 'Who benefitted most?' Rahul Gandhi attacks govt on Pulwama anniversary, BJP slams remark

The camp was allegedly being run by Maulana Yousuf Azhar, the brother-in-law of Masood Azhar.

The counter strike

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had said the neighbouring nation will “respond at the time and place of its choosing” for the “uncalled aggression” committed by India.

In response to the Balakot air strike, the Pakistani Air Force (PAF) attempted a strike at military installations in Jammu and Kashmir.  Three PAF jets crossed the LoC from Nowshera in Jammu and Kashmir and had dropped bombs, before being pushed back by the Indian Air Force.

1| Abhinandan Varthaman- Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman continued to be the most searched personality on Google right from Februrary this year, following the news of his capture and subsequent release by the the Pakistani security forces. (Image: PTI)

In the dogfight, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman piloting a MiG-21 Bison aircraft shot down a much advanced F-16 of the Pakistan Air Force.

However, his own aircraft was hit, and when he ejected from it, his parachute landed in PoK. He was captured by the Pakistani army, which releases videos of him being interrogated. Pakistan later released Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman days out of desire for peace.

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First Published on Feb 14, 2020 04:24 pm
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