Pulwama attack: Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi and other leaders pay respects to CRPF jawans in Delhi
At least 40 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed in a suicide attack in South Kashmir on Thursday.
All major political parties in India as well as several countries condemned the terror attack in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir that took place on Thursday. The Congress party said the Opposition will stand united with the government.
At least 40 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed after a militant drove an explosive-laden vehicle into a bus. The Jaish-e-Mohammed militant group has claimed the attack.
Friday began with a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after which the government announced the withdrawal of the “Most Favoured Nation” tag from Pakistan. India has blamed Pakistan for the incident.
The Centre has called for an all-party meeting on Saturday to discuss the security situation.
Here’s how the day unfolded:
10.31 pm: Assam government announces Rs 20 lakh to the family of Moneswar Basumatary, a CRPF soldier from the state who died in Thursday’s terror attack, PTI reports.
10.30 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee says the terror attack was due to an “intelligence failure” and asks why there was no national mourning for the soldiers. “I am sorry to see that the prime minister inaugurated one project today,” she adds, according to PTI. “After any serious incident takes place, we should avoid political programmes and government programmes. Why have they [Centre] not declared a three-day mourning?”
10.10 pm: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman cancels all prior events for the next two days. She will go to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to pay her last respects to the deceased CRPF jawans of the two states, reports ANI.
9.32 pm: These are the CRPF personnel who died in Thursday’s terror attack.
9.24 pm: Members of the IPS Association of Uttar Pradesh decide to contribute a day’s salary to the victims’ families, ANI reports.
8.58 pm: The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry urges people of the state to maintain communal harmony and not allow vested interests to divide the state on regional lines, reports PTI. The Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry had called for a shutdown in Jammu on Friday.
8.52 pm: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announces Rs 10 lakh compensation to families of CRPF jawans from the state who died in the attack, reports ANI. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announces government job and Rs 12 lakh to families of deceased CRPF jawans.
8.43 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays respects to the CRPF jawans at Delhi’s Palam airport, reports ANI. The bodies of the jawans reached Delhi’s Palam air force area on Friday evening.
8.41 pm: Advisor to Pakistan Prime Minister on Trade Abdul Razzak Dawood say a response to India’s decision to revoke the Most Favoured Nation tag to Pakistan would come after due deliberation, reports PTI.
“India has removed us from the list of MFN nations but we will not make any emotional decision and will issue a response after making due thinking,” he says.
Read: No ‘emotional decision’ on India’s move to revoke favoured nation tag, says Pakistan
8.34 pm: Ministers Rajnath Singh and Nirmala Sitharaman, chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force lay wreaths on the mortal remains of the jawans in Delhi’s Palam airport, reports ANI.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also lay wreaths.
8.11 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says he is on his way to the Palam airport to pay respects to the deceased jawans. Prime Minister Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi are also expected to reach shortly.
8.10 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announces compensation of Rs 50 lakh for the families of the jawans from the state who lost their lives in the attack.
8.07 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi asks ministers in BJP-governed states and party’s MPs to attend the last rites of the soldiers, who lost their lives in the Pulwama attack, in their respective states and constituencies, ANI reports.
8.05 pm: The explosive used in the attack on Thursday was around 60 kg of powerful RDX, NDTV reports quoting unidentified officials of the CRPF.
7.38 pm: The mortal remains of the CRPF jawans who lost their lives have been brought to Palam airport.
7.32 pm: The foreign secretary has met around 25 heads of mission based in New Delhi from all five permanent nations of the United Nations Security Council, all South Asian countries and other countries, including Japan, Germany, Republic of Korea, ANI reports.
Quoting unidentified officials, ANI reports that all representatives were “left in no doubt” about the role played by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed in the attack.
7.24 pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi heads to Palam airport in New Delhi for wreath laying ceremony of the soldiers who were killed, News18 reports.
7.17 pm: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray says it is now time to “strike inside Pakistan”. “This is not just a terror attack. It has blown the country’s intelligence system into smithereens,” Thackeray says. “Instead of making tall claims, Pakistan needs to be taught a lesson once and for all. If intelligence inputs were not available, one wonders what do the people who are holding the reins were doing. They should be removed.”
7.05 pm: The bodies of the CRPF jawans killed in the attack will soon be flown to New Delhi where Narendra Modi will pay them homage, reports The Indian Express.
Also read: ‘We lost a hero’: Kerala village mourns CRPF man killed in Pulwama attack
6.52 pm: The Delhi government says it has cancelled all its public programmes, including inaugurations of various developmental works and festivals, as a mark of respect to the CRPF personnel who were killed on Wednesday. “Our 40 brave CRPF brothers have lost their lives in a brutal and cowardly attack by terrorists,” says Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a statement.
The Delhi chief minister further said: “Entire country is in grief and there is tremendous anger among the people on this highly condemnable and cowardly act. We salute the martyrs and we stand firmly with their families. The government and people of Delhi are fully with the central government at this hour and we support whatever action the central government and our armed forces deem fit. We are ready for any cooperation to deal with this dastardly attack.”
6.43 pm: A team of the National Investigating Agency reaches at Awantipora in Jammu and Kashmir, News18 reports.
6.38 pm: Former President Pranab Mukherjee says he is pained by the “inhuman act perpetrated by terrorists”. “We must stand together as a nation in this hour of grief,” Mukherjee says.
Referring to Pakistan, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu says India’s neighbour has been “aiding, abetting, funding, training terror groups for long”.
6.27 pm: Representatives of different diplomatic missions in India arrive at the Ministry of External Affairs, ANI reports. MEA officials had reached out to all important partners via diplomatic missions to apprise them of involvement of Pakistan-backed terror groups.
6.16 pm: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh announces that the civilian movement will now be stopped for sometime when a large convoy of security forces passes through an area. “Civilians will face a little difficulty, we apologise for it,” he adds.
6.11 pm: Ajmer Sharif Dargah dewan Syed Zainul Abedin Ali Khan asks the government not to allow devotees from Pakistan to visit the shrine, PTI reports. He says harming lives of innocent people by attacking them cowardly is against the fundamental principles of the religion.
6.05 pm: South Korea expresses condolences to the bereaved families. “It is our firm position that terrorism is a crime against humanity that cannot be justified under any circumstances and must be eradicated,” the South Korean Foreign Ministry said. “We will continue to actively work with the international community to eradicate terrorism.”
5.55 pm: The Centre calls an all-party meeting on Saturday in wake of the terror attack. The government is expected to brief the parties about the Pulwama attack and the security situation in the Valley, Hindustan Times reports.
5.50 pm: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh says, “There are some elements who are hand in glove with terror organisations, terror forces and the ISI across the border. They are involved in terror conspiracies too. They are toying with the future of the people, especially the youth, of Jammu and Kashmir.”
5.45 pm: The CRPF revises the toll in the attack to 40. Earlier, officials had said 37 jawans were killed.
4.55 pm: Rajnath Singh in Budgam says the nation will not forget the sacrifice of the CRPF jawans. “The sacrifice will not go in vain,” he adds.
4.50 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh says it was time to give a befitting reply to Pakistan and that the time for peace talks is over. “This is becoming too much and if we do not act they may again resort to such misadventure,” Singh says in the Punjab Assembly. “The time has come for the Centre to understand their [Pakistan’s] designs and give them a befitting response.”
4.48 pm: “India needs a concrete action [to check terror attacks] and not hollow discussions and political surgical strikes,” says father of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who was killed in the terror attacks in Mumbai in November 2008.
K Unnikrishnan says India should be prepared to face such attacks. “When you are confronting your enemy or adversary, you should be prepared more than cent per cent to face repercussions. You cannot take 2,500 plus policemen in a single convoy without sealing the entire route, at least the highway,” PTI quotes K Unnikrishnan as saying.
He also objects to news channels conducting panel discussions on security matters.
4.45 pm: Shiv Sena demands for a joint session of Parliament to hold discussions on the terror attack, says party leader Sanjay Raut.
4.37 pm: Chief ministers of Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Telangana and Tripura condemn the terror attack. While Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das announces an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh for the family of the CRPF jawan from the state, K Chandrasekhar Rao of Telangana asks his party cadre not to hold celebrations for his birthday falling on February 17.
Karnataka Chief minister HD Kumaraswamy says he has instructed state officials to speed up the process of compensation for the family of CRPF jawan from the state H Guru, who was killed in the attack. The Madhya Pradesh government too announces a compensation of Rs 1 crore to the family of Ashwini Kumar Kachhi, a soldier from the state who was killed.
4.30 pm: The Uttar Pradesh Police books a student of the Aligarh Muslim University for allegedly hailing the Pulwama attack on social media. Basim Hilal, who reportedly hails from Kashmir, has been booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act.
University’s Public Relations Officer Omar Saleem Peerzada says the student has been suspended. “We won’t let the university be discredited,” Peerzada tells reporters. “We’ve zero tolerance.”
4.14 pm: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik hold meeting with officials in Srinagar.
4.04 pm: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad says terror bases in Pakistan must be destroyed. “Clearly the young persons are being enrolled...to wage jihad, perpetrate murders, all in the name of religion and luxuries in ‘jannat’ [heaven],” says VHP’s international working president Alok Kumar. “This is a challenge to all humanity and the global community must rise to answer such ideology.”
“We believe that Indian government will respond to the attack resolutely, firmly and effectively,” Kumar adds.
3.55 pm: Actor Shabana Azmi and her husband lyricist-writer Javed Akhtar decide not to attend Kaifi Azmi’s birth cenetary celebrations in Karachi in wake of the Pulwama attack. “I appreciate that our hosts the Karachi Arts Council mutually agreed to cancel the event at the nth hour in the wake of Pulwama attack,” she says on Twitter.
3.52 pm: Protestors gather near India Gate to protest against the terror attack. While some sought justice for those killed in the attack, others chanted anti-Pakistan slogans.
3.50 pm: The CRPF says it will not “forget and forgive” but avenge the terror attack that killed at least 40 of its personnel. “We salute our martyrs of Pulwama attack and stand with the families of our martyr brothers. This heinous attack will be avenged,” CRPF tweets.
3.40 pm: Former Union minister LK Advani says the entire country should unitedly stand in support of the government. “Terrorists and their sponsors should know that India can neither be divided nor deterred by their evil designs,” Advani says, according to PTI. He says that the terrorist attack was a “crime against humanity”.
3.37 pm: Yoga guru Ramdev demands that Masood Azhar, the chief of Jaish-e-Mohammad, and Hafiz Saeed of the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant outfit, should be eithe brought to India or meet the “fate of Osama bin Laden”. “Pakistan is behaving like an immature, stupid and uneducated country,” PTI quotes Ramdev as saying. “So, the Indian prime minister must now take a major step to teach Pakistan a lesson with some action.”
3.35 pm: The United Arab Emirates says it stood in solidarity with the Indian government and the people of the country in their fight against violence and extremism.
3.30 pm: Condemning the attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin says that perpetrators and the sponsors of the attack should be brought to book. “I would like to reiterate the readiness for further strengthening counter-terrorist cooperation with Indian partners,” Putin says. “In Russia, we share the grief of friendly people of India and hope for speedy recovery of the injured.”
3.10 pm: The players of Vidarbha and Rest of India teams wear black armbands during the ongoing Irani Cup at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur, reports the Times of India.
Meanwhile, I-League champions Minerva Punjab requests the All India Football Federation to move their upcoming match from Srinagar or defer it in the wake of the attack. It says the club is ready to forfeit if the game is not rescheduled.
3 pm: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik and the Indian Army’s Northern Command chief Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh pay tribute to CRPF personnel who lost their lives in the attack.
2.50 pm: Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu condemns the attack, PTI reports. However, he asks, “For a handful of people, can you blame the entire nation and can you blame an individual?”
Sidhu was criticised last year for attending the swearing-in ceremony of cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan as prime minister of Pakistan.
2.45 pm: Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani condemns the attack targetting CRPF personnel in Pulwama. “Terrorism is a cancer in the region, and it requires collective efforts to root it out,” Ghani says.
2.30 pm: The Tamil Nadu government announces compensation of Rs 20 lakh each to the families of the two CRPF personnel from the state who were killed in the terror attack
2.10 pm: Narendra Modi says the sacrifice of the soldiers who died in the attack will not go in vain. “Conspirators of Pulwama attack will be punished, our neighbouring country has forgotten that this is a new India,” Modi says in Jhansi. “Pakistan is going through an economic crisis; Pakistan is roaming around with its begging bowl but it’s not getting help from the world.”
2.05 pm: India summons Pakistan High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood in connection with the attack.
2 pm: Authorities in Jammu imposes curfew in parts of the city after protests against the terror attack turn violent. Locals reportedly pelted stones on police and torched vehicles in Gujjar Nagar area of Jammu city.
1.45 pm: Here are the updates since Friday morning.
- Pakistan rejects link, says strike a ‘matter of grave concern’: Soon after the attack, India had said Islamabad should stop letting terror groups operate from its territory. The United States asked Pakistan to “end immediately” the safe havens “provided to all terrorist groups operating on its soil”. China, however, again refused to back India’s attempts at the UN to list Jaish-e-Mohammed’s Masood Azhar as a terrorist.
- Cabinet committee meeting concludes, Rajnath Singh to visit J&K: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik said the attack was the result of an intelligence failure.
- India revokes Pakistan’s Most Favoured Nation tag, promises its global isolation: The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Arun Jaitley announced the decision.
- ‘Security forces have been given free hand, Pakistan totally isolated,’ says PM Narendra Modi: He said terrorist organisations who committed the attack and their backers have made a ‘very grave mistake’.
- Kashmir Police issued advisory to CRPF last week about possible use of IEDs: The police had asked the CRPF to sanitise their deployment areas before occupying them.
- Rahul Gandhi says Opposition will stand united with the government: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the party will do everything necessary to keep the nation united. Several other Opposition leaders also condemned the attack. A separatist group said the hostilities need to stop to ensure peace in the region.
1.30 pm: Modi, as well as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, have promised strict action against the perpetrators after the committee’s meeting. Both spoke of Pakistan’s complete isolation at the international level. Modi also says that the government had given the security forces a free hand in the wake of the attack.