On February 14 last year, the Pulwama district in Kashmir had witnessed one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in the last decade, claiming the lives of 40 CRPF soldiers. The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) will pay homage to those 40 martyrs on Friday by organising a low-key “wreath-laying” ceremony at Lethpora Camp to mark their first death anniversary.
In the ceremony which will be held Friday in 185 Battalion of CRPF, which is soon to be converted into Group Centre of CRPF, Special DG, North Zone, CRPF Zulfiqar Hasan is set to pay tributes alongside top security officials from the security grid. The Battalion is 2 Km from the actual site of the attack.
A martyr’s column dedicated to the memory of those jawans who laid down their lives in the line of duty will be inaugurated at this solemn function. “It is going to be a solemn ceremony, a martyr column will be inaugurated with the names of the CRPF jawans who died in the Pulwama attack inscribed on it, a blood donation camp will be also be held at Letpora,” Zulfiqar Hasan told IANS.
Sources said: “Family of martyrs have not been called as it was deemed that there would be private ceremonies held at their residences.”
Moreover, in a bid to honour those martyrs a memorial will be built in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district whose construction will begin tomorrow. Soil is being collected from the homes of the CRPF martyrs which will be used in the construction of the memorial.
As per a Times of India report, Umesh Gopinath Jadhav, a Bengaluru-based singer, had travelled to the family home of each of the 40 Pulwama martyrs, met the families and had collected the soil from outside their houses in an earthen pot. Jadhav will meet DG Zulfiqar Hasan at the Lethpora camp and will present the urn, to be laid at the memorial column.
Jadhav has travelled over 61,000 km across India to meet the family members of the martyrs. He will be the only guest at the CRPF’s Lethpora camp today.
On Wednesday, CRPF officials visited the residences of Mohan Lal Raturi, one of the 40 personnel killed in last year’s Pulwama attack, in Uttarakhand.
The CRPF has collected soil from both the residences of Raturi in a Kalash (pot) to send it to Pulwama, where the construction of the memorial will begin from February 14, 2020, the first anniversary of the attack.
In the ghastly act, at least 40 CRPF men were killed after a Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden car into the 55-seater bus they were travelling in at Lethpora, Pulwama in South Kashmir on February 14, 2019.
A terrorist belonging to Pakistani Army backed Islamic terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad, identified as Adil Ahmad Dar, had rammed an SUV laden with over 300 kg of explosives into the CRPF bus carrying about 40 personnel.
The CRPF convoy of 70 vehicles carrying over 2000 personnel was on the way to Srinagar from Jammu after the highway opened for one way traffic after several days of closure due to heavy rainfall and subsequent landslides.
Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the attack and identified the suicide bomber (fidayeen) as Adil Ahmad from Kakapora in Pulwama, who had joined the Jaish-e-Mohammed in 2018. They also released a recorded video message of the suicide bomber.
India had exacted revenge by decimating the Jaish terrorist camps at a hilltop in Balakot, Pakistan, 13 days later in a precision airstrike carried out by Indian Air Force.