January 2021 News

Pulwama-style Attack Averted In J&K: Police

21 January 2021
The Hindustan Times
Mir Ehsan

Srinagar: A car carrying around 45 kg concealed explosives was seized from Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, the Union Territory police said on Thursday and added the recovery prevented an attack similar to the one that left 40 paramilitary troopers dead in February 2019 and brought India and Pakistan on the brink of war. Vijay Kumar, the inspector general of police (Kashmir), said they had human and technical intelligence inputs over the last week, indicating that Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), which claimed responsibility for the 2019 attack, and Hizbul Mujahideen were planning a big suicide attack using a car bomb. 'On Wednesday, [Jammu & Kashmir] police, Army and the CRPF [Central Reserve Police Force] established multiple nakas [barricades] after the leads about the attack. In the evening, a naka party directed a car to stop, but it sped away. At another naka, warning shots were fired on the vehicle. The car's driver left the vehicle behind and fled towards a forest under the darkness of the night,' Kumar said. He added the entire area was cordoned off after security forces noticed suspicious objects in the car from a distance. 'The car was searched and a large quantity of explosives was found concealed in the car.' Kumar said the modus operandi used was the same as in the 2019 car bomb attack in Pulwama, which prompted an airstrike on a terror training camp in Pakistan. Pakistan retaliated a day later on February 27, 2019, and triggered a dogfight between Indian and Pakistani aircraft. It was the first such clash since the 1971 war and an Indian pilot was captured and later released after his plane was downed. Kumar said they suspect Adil of Hizbul Mujahideen, who also works with JeM, and Fauji bhai, a Pakistani JeM commander in Pulwama, were involved in the planning of the failed attack. 'The improvised explosive device was diffused in a technical way... The Pulwama police, with the help of security forces, have averted a major tragedy and I congratulate all of the forces.' Investigators said the car carrying the explosives had a fake number plate, which is a strong indication that the militants were planning to carry out a car bomb attack. The car was intercepted at Aynegund in Rajpora area of Pulwama. The Jammu & Kashmir had strengthened security along the Srinagar-Jammu national highway and other sensitive spots earlier this month amid multiple inputs about a possible car bomb attack. Pulwama is located along the highway.