Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed the Gurdaspur terror strike -- which left 10 people dead, including the three terrorists -- a "cowardly attack". He also praised the Punjab police and Army for reacting swiftly to the attack.
The PM paid homage to the "brave" security personnel who laid down their lives during the attack. His comments came at a cabinet meeting, and he also discussed the terror attack at the BJP parliamentary party meet. This was Modi's first reaction to the strike, nearly 24-hours after it ended.
Home minister Rajnath Singh also reportedly told the cabinet meeting that the operations could have ended earlier, but it went for "8-9 hours" as the security forces wanted to capture at least one of the terrorists alive.
Government sources said that all speculation about the terrorists' identity could have been put to rest if one of them was captured alive. However, a senior minister told HT that inputs available with security agencies suggest it was a clear case of cross-border terrorism.
All the latest information regarding the attack, such as the route the terrorists took and where they stopped, was all discussed at the meeting.
"At the cabinet meeting, the PM praised the Punjab police for showing exemplary courage... He then asked the home minister to brief the senior ministers about the incident," a source told HT.
The Congress is sending a delegation, comprising general secretary Shakeel Ahmed and secretary Asha Kumari, to Gurdaspur on Wednesday. They will meet the families of those killed in the attack.