India geared up to pay tribute to over 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel on Friday by dedicating a martyr's column to the memory of the jawans who lost their lives in a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on 14 February, 2019.
The CRPF will pay homage to those 40 martyrs by organising a "wreath-laying" ceremony at Lethpora Camp to mark their first death anniversary on Friday.
"We salute our brothers who sacrificed their lives in the service of the nation in Pulwama. Indebted, we stand with the families of our valiant martyrs, the CRPF tweeted.
"तुम्हारे शौर्य के गीत, कर्कश शोर में खोये नहीं।
गर्व इतना था कि हम देर तक रोये नहीं।"
WE DID NOT FORGET, WE DID NOT FORGIVE: We salute our brothers who sacrificed their lives in the service of the nation in Pulwama. Indebted, we stand with the families of our valiant martyrs. pic.twitter.com/GfzzLuTl7R
— 🇮🇳CRPF🇮🇳 (@crpfindia) February 13, 2020
— ANI (@ANI) February 14, 2020
Lauding the martyrs for devoting their lives to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to the CRPF jawans who were killed when their convoy was targeted by a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) outfit.
"Tributes to the brave martyrs who lost their lives in the gruesome Pulwama attack last year. They were exceptional individuals who devoted their lives to serving and protecting our nation. India will never forget their martyrdom," tweeted Modi.
Tributes to the brave martyrs who lost their lives in the gruesome Pulwama attack last year. They were exceptional individuals who devoted their lives to serving and protecting our nation. India will never forget their martyrdom.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 14, 2020
Union Minister Amit Shah paid homage to the slain soldiers and said India "will forever be grateful to our bravehearts and and their families" for their sacrifice.
I pay homage to the martyrs of Pulwama attack.
India will forever be grateful of our bravehearts and their families who made supreme sacrifice for the sovereignty and integrity of our motherland.
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) February 14, 2020
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh condemned the "dastardly" act and said that the nation would never forget the sacrifice of the CRPF personnel
"Remembering the fallen CRPF personnel who were martyred during the dastardly attack in Pulwama on this day in 2019. India will never forget their sacrifice," Singh tweeted.
He said that the entire country stands united against terrorism and "everyone is committed to continue fight against this menace".
At least 40 CRPF jawans were killed after the convoy of 78 buses, in which around 2,500 personnel were travelling from Jammu to Srinagar, came under attack.
Following the attack, India had launched extensive diplomatic efforts to get JeM chief Masood Azhar designated as a global terrorist, which finally became a reality on 1 May, 2019, when China lifted its technical hold on a proposal introduced by the US, the UK, and France in the 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council.
Around 12 days after the terror attack, in the wee hours of 26 February, Indian Air Force (IAF) jets bombed the JeM camp in Balakot, in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
A day later on 27 February, IAF foiled an attempt by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) to strike at military installations in Jammu and Kashmir. In the aerial skirmish, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman piloting a MiG-21 Bison aircraft shot down a much-advanced F-16 of PAF.
However, his aircraft was also hit and upon ejection, his parachute landed in PoK, where he was taken captive by the Pakistani Army. Under international pressure, Pakistan released the IAF pilot two days later, who returned to his country.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Feb 14, 2020 10:44:41 IST