14 February 2020
Bhubaneswar: It was a routine day for security personnel and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans, who were travelling on the National Highway 44. It was also the day when Jammu and Kashmir witnessed its worst terror attacks in years.
At about 3:15 pm on February 14, 2019, a convoy of CRPF jawans was hit by an explosives-laden SUV near Awantipora on NH 44. The powerful explosion, triggered by a suicide bomber carrying explosives in a car, reduced a CRPF bus to a mangled heap of iron and 40 jawans lost their lives.
Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack and police identified the suicide bomber as Adil Ahmed who officials said joined the Jaish in 2018.
While the attack was condemned by Pakistan; however, Imran Khan bluntly denied any involvement in the incident, though Jaish-e-Mohammed's leader Masood Azhar is known to operate in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, leaders cutting across all political parties, eminent personalities belonging to various fields such as entertainment and sports had too condemned the horrific attack, which had left the entire country stunned.
In a bid to honour the martyred CRPF troopers a memorial is being built in Pulwama district right next to the attack site. Soil is being collected from the homes of the CRPF martyrs which will be used in the construction of the memorial.
The names of all the 40 personnel along with their pictures will be part of the memorial along with the motto of CRPF - ‘Seva and Nishtha’ (Service and Loyalty). The memorial will be inaugurated today.