More than 72 hours after 40 CRPF jawans were martyred in a heinous terror attack in Pulwama of Jammu and Kashmir, Indians continued to express grief, anger, and outrage as they waited for appropriate action against the culprits of the act. While the leaders of the country promised action, people from all walks of life continued to come out in several cities to express solidarity with the families of the CRPF jawans killed in the Pulwama terror attack.
In one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir’s three decades of militancy, a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) suicide attacker rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a CRPF bus in Pulwama district on Thursday, killing around 40 personnel and leaving many critically wounded.
“I feel the same fire in my heart that’s raging inside you,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday while referring to the anger and grief in the country after the dastardly attack. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh asserted “the sacrifice made by 40 CRPF in recent Pulwama attack will not go in vain” adding “the army has been given a free hand to punish the perpetrators.”
Here are the biggest developments on Sunday in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack
1. Pakistan feels the pressure as more neighbours protest
India and Iran, after suffering from two “heinous” terrorist attacks in the past few days, have agreed on close cooperation to combat terrorism in the region as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi here.
The meeting between Swaraj and Araghchi came hours after Iran’s Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, referring to Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish al-Adl, said the government of Pakistan must pay the price of harboring these terrorist groups and this price will undoubtedly be very high.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards accused Pakistan’s security forces of supporting the perpetrators of a suicide bombing in which 27 troops were killed on Wednesday.
India has also blamed Pakistan for the Pulwama terror attack on Thursday that martyred 40 CRPF troops.
2. IMG Reliance not to broadcast Pakistan Super League
The Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2019 is set to go off air after IMG Reliance pulled out from broadcasting the T20 League in protest against the Pulwama terrorist attack in Kashmir.
Being the only producers of the event, the development means PSL will go off air unless the PCB brings in alternate production services, an official said.
Cricbuzz has stopped covering the PSL and has deleted all Pakistan-related content on its site following Pulwama attack.
Also, Dream 11 suspended all PSL matches.
3. Pakistan government websites hacked
Several Pakistani websites including many government sites were reportedly hacked by “Team I-Crew”, which claims to be an Indian hacker group, days after the Pulwama terror attack in Kashmir. According to several media reports, a list of the hacked websites is being circulated on WhatsApp and other social media platforms claiming that “Pakistan has faced it’s worst cyber attack in history, in last 72 hours”
While DNA cannot verify the claims of the message, a number of websites with gov.pk domain IDs mentioned in the list displayed this message and appeared to have been hacked.
We will never forget #14/02/2019,” is the message splashed across one such website.
“Dedicated to the martyrs sacrificed their lives in #PulwamaTerrorAttack,” is another text on the website.
This comes a day after the official website of Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was also reportedly hacked. Pakistan foreign ministry spokesperson Mohammad Faisal had said complaints were received about the site being inaccessible by users from several countries.
A number of websites with gov.pk domain IDs mentioned in the list displayed this message and appeared to have been hacked.
4. Kashmir separatists lose security cover
Three days after the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were martyred by a Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Sunday issued orders to withdraw security of five separatist leaders, including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
Besides the Mirwaiz, the security cover for Abdul Gani Bhat, Bilal Lone, Hashim Qureshi and Shabir Shah has been withdrawn, an order issued by the administration headed by Governor Satya Pal Malik said.
According to the order, all security and vehicles provided to the separatists will stand withdrawn by Sunday evening. No security forces or cover will be provided, under any pretext, to them or any other separatists. If they have any other facilities provided by the government, they are to be withdrawn forthwith.
The Police Headquarters in Jammu and Kashmir will review if there are any other separatists who have security or facilities which will be withdrawn immediately, the officials said.
While there was no categorization of security for these leaders, the state government in consultation with the Centre had provided them ad hoc security, keeping in mind the threat to their lives from some militant groups.
5. 23 with suspected links to Jaish-e-Mohammad detained
Indian forces have detained 23 men suspected of links to the Pakistan-based militant group that masterminded the bombing of an Indian security convoy that martyred 44 paramilitary police, a top police official said on Sunday.
The 23 men included members and sympathizers of Jaish-e-Mohammad, the militant group which has claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack, the deadliest on Indian security forces in decades.
National Investigating Agency (NIA) questioned the suspects about the bombing on Sunday, two security officials said.
“They are trying to reach out to the top commanders of Jaish-e-Mohammad, including its Kashmir Chief,” one of the sources said.
Mohammed Umair, the commander of the Jaish in Kashmir who is believed to have plotted the attack, is suspected to be hiding in the region where the attacks took place, the officials said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised a strong response to the attack and says he has given the military a free hand to tackle cross-border militancy. The Jaish, considered to be one of the most lethal militant groups, has expanded its presence in Kashmir, the police officer said.
Security agencies have raided the houses of suspected militants across South Kashmir to find information on those who masterminded and executed the attack.