CRPF jawans killed in Pulwama terror attack were returning from leave
When the convoy started out from Channi Rama transit camp in Jammu long before sunrise this morning, there were nearly 78 vehicles carrying about 2,500 jawans.
A CRPF convoy came under Jaish attack on Thursday afternoon that killed 44 jawans. The Jammu to Srinagar highway had been blocked for nearly a week and the queue of CRPF personnel waiting to travel from Jammu to Srinagar had been getting longer.
“The jawans were returning from leave,” said Ashish Kumar Jha, CRPF spokesperson in Jammu.
When the convoy started out from Channi Rama transit camp in Jammu long before sunrise Thursday morning, there were nearly 78 vehicles carrying about 2,500 jawans.
Ashish Kumar Jha said the convoy had left the Jammu camp at around 3.30 Thursday morning. The destination was over 320 km away, the Bakshi Stadium transit camp in Srinagar.
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The attack took place nearly 30 km short of its destination.
A car, driven by Jaish-e-Mohammed’s Adil Ahmad Dar, rammed one of the 78 buses. Security agencies estimate the sports utility vehicle was packed with anything between 250 to 300 kg explosives. Security agencies in Delhi and Jammu confirmed 44 deaths in the attack by late Thursday evening, nearly 20 more are injured.
The security establishment will probe the attack to see if it made mistakes. There were suggestions that the length of the convoy appeared to be one.
“A thorough probe will be conducted but such a large convoy is visible from a distance itself… Points of halt and resuming journey of such convoys are always fixed,” Jha said.
Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik promised that there would be a “specific and strong response” to the attack. But he did make the point that the huge convoy left it vulnerable.
“They (CRPF jawans) should not have travelled with a huge convoy of 2500 jawans. Had the the convoy moved at a higher speed, such an attack would not have been possible on this highway. But somewhere security lapse was there. I will say at several places. Otherwise, it would not have been possible,” he told India Today news channel.
Besides, Malik said proper checking along the highway would have made it difficult to bring the car bomb near the convoy.
“Definitely there was a lapse and security forces now to have sit together and take corrective measures to plug the loopholes,” he said.
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