Home Minister Rajnath Singh Friday served as a pallbearer to the coffin of a slain CRPF jawan after laying a wreath on the mortal remains of the troops who were killed in a terror attack in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir.
LIVE UPDATES: At least 38 killed in Pulwama terror attack
Along with other pallbearers, Singh and J&K DGP Dilbagh Singh escorted the coffin before it was flown out of the valley in a special aircraft, PTI quoted an official as saying. Singh was attending the wreath-laying ceremony in Budgam where the remains of 40 CRPF personnel were kept in coffins, draped in the national flag.
“The nation will not forget the supreme sacrifice of our brave CRPF jawans. I have paid my last respects to the martyrs of Pulwama. The sacrifice will not go in vain,” Singh said.
Besides the home minister, Governor Satya Pal Malik, Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, CRPF Director General R R Bhatnagar, Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbagh Singh also attended the wreath-laying ceremony.
A silence was observed when the coffins were loaded in a truck which was set on its way to the Srinagar airport, PTI quoted the official as saying.
At least 40 CRPF personnel were killed on Thursday afternoon in the Valley when a suicide bomber rammed his Scorpio SUV laden with explosives into a CRPF bus in south Kashmir. Moments after the attack, Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the attack. the bomber was identified as Adil Ahmad Dar, 20, a resident of Gundibagh village in Pulwama district of South Kashmir. Adil used to work in a sawmill.
The bus, carrying 40 soldiers, was part of a convoy of 78 vehicles with 2,547 CRPF personnel, moving from Jammu to Srinagar. Sources said that preliminary inspection of the attack spot revealed that the SUV had more than 50-60 kg of high-grade explosives.
The government along with the Opposition condemned the explosion and it a cowardly act.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said those who committed the heinous act will pay “a heavy price”. “To all my colleagues, in ruling and Opposition, it’s a sensitive time. We need to speak in one voice because this battle is for us to win,” said Modi.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressed a press conference along with former prime minister Manmohan Singh and vouched to stand with the security forces and the government. “The aim of terrorism is to divide this country. We won’t be divided even for a second. Opposition stands with our jawans and with our government. This is an attack on the soul of India. We support our government in whatever decision it’s taking,” Rahul Gandhi said at a press conference in New Delhi.