PULWAMA: The toll from Thursday’s terror attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Jammu and Kashmir rose to 45 as two more troopers succumbed to their injuries, officials said on Friday. Besides, 38 others were wounded in the worst-ever terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir since 1989.
The attack took place around 3.15 pm on Thursday when a ‘Fidayeen’ bomber belonging to the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) terror outfit rammed an explosive-laden SUV into a bus carrying CRPF troopers in Lethpora area of Pulwama district on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway, officials said.
“None among the 44 CRPF men travelling in the bus that took the full impact of the suicide bombing survived,” a CRPF official said. “An injured person in another bus has also succumbed taking the death toll to 45,” he added. The official said the 38 injured CRPF men are being treated in the Army base hospital in Badamibagh cantonment area of Srinagar.
The CRPF convoy of 78 vehicles was coming from Jammu to Srinagar. The convoy carried 2,547 CRPF personnel. The attack happened even as an intelligence input had warned of its the possibility 48 hours earlier.
The intelligence input had said, “Chatter inputs reveal that JeM outfit has hinted to carry out IED attacks along the routes of security forces across Jammu and Kashmir. A video uploaded by the outfit has also been shared with all concerned. It is as such suggested that security forces need to be put on alert to thwart any such attempt by terrorists.”
Informed sources said the intelligence input was shared with all security forces in Jammu and Kashmir.
The video that was uploaded along with the threat message showed a truck carrying troops in Somalia blown up in a powerful improvised explosive device (IED) blast. In the message, the JeM had warned of a similar type of blast.
A video released by the JeM after the attack identified the suicide bomber as Adil Ahmad Dar alias Waqas Commando, belonging to Kakapora town of Pulwama district.
Police sources said the bomber rammed his explosive-laden SUV into the CRPF bus and is believed to have been killed in the explosion. There is, however, no official confirmation of the bomber’s death.
Senior police and CRPF officials reached the spot immediately for post blast analysis. The explosion was so massive that its sound was heard 10 kms away.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was briefed by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval about the incident on Thursday. Modi will chair a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) at 9.15 am in Delhi on Friday. Home Minister Rajnath Singh, accompanied by Union Home Secretary and other senior officers of the ministry, is likely to arrive on Friday.
A 12-member team of national Investigation agency (NIA) and another team of t he national security guards (NSG) are also expected to arrive here to assist the police in the investigation of the terror strike.
Violent Protests In Jammu Over Pulwama Attack, Curfew On, Army On Standby
A curfew was imposed in parts of Jammu city on Friday after mobs attacked some people and burnt vehicles following the terror attack in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir in which over 40 security personnel were killed.
Over a dozen people have been injured in mob attacks, sources said.
Two army columns have been sent to stage flag march and maintain peace, officials said. The curfew was imposed as authorities feared a communal backlash, they added.
Protesters, particularly in the old city, refused to disperse even after loudspeakers announced that curfew was imposed.
“We have imposed curfew in Jammu city as a precautionary measure,” Deputy Commissioner of Jammu Ramesh Kumar told news agency PTI.
There was a complete shutdown in Jammu city, with no traffic on roads and all shops and markets closed.
Several areas of Jammu were hit by massive anti-Pakistan protests with people taking to the streets, including Jewel Chowk, Purani Mundi, Rehari, Shaktinagar, Pacca Danga, Janipur, Gandhinagar and Bakshinagar.
According to some reports, there were mob attacks in Gujjar Nagar area where several vehicles were damaged by stone-throwers. However, the police said they had managed to prevent a major clash.
Kashmiri employees at Jammu’s Tourist Reception Centre have sent SOS messages to police seeking protection after mobs burnt vehicles outside TRC and pelted stones.
Raising slogans against Pakistan and terrorists, protesters burnt tyres on roads. Demonstrators put up barricades demanding that the attacks be avenged.