Guwahati: A year ago on February 14, 2019, on a normal routine day for security personnel and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans, travelling on National Highway 44, at nearly 3.15 pm a convoy of CRPF jawans was hit by an explosives-laden SUV on the Srinagar-Jammu highway. The attack was later claimed by Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed. The attacker was identified as Adil Ahmad Dar, a local from Pulwama district, and a member of Jaish-e-Mohammed. Jammu and Kashmir witnessed its worst terror attack on this very day a year ago. 40 CRPF jawans lost their lives in the attack.
After the attack
India expressed massive protests, bandhs and candlelight marches across all the states to express their solidarity with the jawans martyres. The All Indian Cine Workers Association and the Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association announced a ban on Pakistani actors and artists in the Indian film industry. There were also threats to ‘vandalise’ the set of any Indian film production with Pakistani artists.
Customs duty on all Pakistani imported goods to India was raised to 200 percent. The government also urged the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to blacklist Pakistan. The FATF, however, decided to keep the Imran Khan-led country on the ‘grey list’ and gave time till October 2019 to comply with 27 conditions.
On 26 February, 12 Mirage 2000 jets of the Indian Air Force crossed the Line of Control and dropped bombs into Balakot, Pakistan. India claimed that it attacked a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp and killed a large number of terrorists, reported to be between 300 and 350. On 27 February, Pakistan shot down an Indian warplane and took Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman captive for 60 hours. Varthaman was conferred the Vir Chakra gallantry award in August 2019.
However, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has not been able to trace the source of high grade explosives used by the car-borne suicide bomber even after one year of the Pulwama terror attack. The investigation has hit hurdles and the NIA could not file a charge-sheet as all key suspects are said to be dead.