On February 14, 2019, when the world was celebrating the festival of love Valentine’s Day, our country India was in deep grief because of the Pulwama attack. This attack caused the death of 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and 70 more were injured. A convoy of 78 vehicles was carrying more than 2,500 CRPF jawans on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway when it was attacked by a car bomb at 3:15 pm in the afternoon. A suicide bomber in a car carrying 300kg of explosives in it, drove headlong into the convoy of the Central Reserve Police Forces (CRPF).
Next day on February 15, the mastermind of the Pulwama attack and the one who started the mission of free Kashmir from India, Jaish-e-Muhammad claimed responsibility for the Pulwama suicide bombing. 20-year old boy Adil Ahmad Dar from Pulwama district who was also a school dropout was selected as a suicide bomber for this deadly attack. India blamed Pakistan for this attack but their ministry denied the allegations and rejected any connection with the Pulwama attack. The Dar family claims they haven’t seen him after 2018 when he left home on a bicycle.
Reaction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi & Other Citizens of India on the Pulwama Attack
Reacting to this attack, Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi shared the grief with the victims and their families. He also warned the terrorist groups and promised strict action against them. He gave full freedom to the Indian army to take action against terrorist activities. The Indian government decided to stop the bus service to Muzaffarabad and also stop the flow of water to Pakistan. Indian farmers also showed their protest by not exporting their produce to Pakistan, especially tomatoes. Bollywood gave its contribution by not releasing their movies in Pakistan. The Indian cricket team showed their protest by wearing camouflage military caps in tribute to the CRPF personnel killed in the attack and also donated their match fees to the National Defence Fund. Even Indian citizens paid their tribute to the attack victims by conducting a candle march, putting up posters, messaging on social media, conducting campaigns, organizing street plays and other activities.
Balakot Airstrike 2019: Revenge for the Pulwama Attack
On February 26, 2019, exactly 12 days after the Pulwama attack, India conducted the Balakot airstrikes early morning around 3:30 am. Warplanes of the Indian Air Force entered the town of Balakot in Pakistan and dropped bombs targeted to destroy the terror camp of Jaish-e-Muhammad. India claimed that this resulted in the death of a large number of terrorists. While the Pakistan army denied this news the Indian military gave confirmation on this news. The very next day the Pakistan military retaliated and shot down an Indian fighter plane and the pilot was taken as a prisoner by the Pakistan Army. Since the India-Pakistan war of 1971, it was the first time when fighter planes of both the countries crossed the Line of Control. The Indian planes returned unharmed after the strike.
This airstrike pushed Delhi and Islamabad into diplomatic conflict. Both nations were facing days of high tension thanks to the Balakot airstrike. According to Pakistan, there were no casualties in the Balakot airstrike. Even in India, there was a political debate on the efficiency of the airstrike. As support for India, foreign journalists came into the picture and said that India carried out this airstrike after the deadly terrorist attack of Pulwama. India claimed that in this strike, the Indian Air Force killed more than 130-170 terrorists. In several news reports, journalists said that villagers in Pakistan were threatened by the Pakistan military. They were not allowed to talk about Pakistani casualties to the media.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was born on June 21, 1983, and is an Indian Air Force fighter pilot. He was captured by the Pakistan military and was released after two days of interrogation. On February 27, 2019, after the airstrike the Indian army got information regarding Pakistan aircraft entering the Line of Control. To get confirmation on this news, Indian aircraft were sent to defend Indian air space. Wing Commander Abhinandan was flying a MiG-21 and when he crossed into Pakistan territory he got struck by a missile. Abhinandan ejected and landed safely in a village in Pakistan named as Horran which is approximately 7 km from the Line of Control. He was recognised by Pakistan villagers as an Indian soldier because of his parachute which had the Indian flag printed on it. When he asked a local guy if he had landed in India, he got an affirmative answer.
However, villagers immediately reported to Pakistan military. To save India’s documents Abhinandan began to run while firing warning shots. He ran 500 meters to a pond, where he attempted to swallow some of his documents. He was caught by villagers before being rescued by the Pakistan army. He was awarded the Vir Chakra later after his release from Pakistan. Abhinandan’s moustache became trendy in India, especially among youngsters. It is now known as the Abhinandan-cut. He is a great example of a true and patriotic Indian. The whole country appreciates his bravery and courage.