Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik has said that Thursday’s Pulwama attack was partly the result of an intelligence failure, especially due to the fact that security forces could not detect the loading and movement of the explosive-laden Scorpio.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Malik said: “We cannot accept that (intelligence failure). We could not detect or check the vehicle full of explosives moving on the highway. We must accept that we are at fault also.”
LIVE UPDATES: At least 37 CRPF men killed in Pulwama attack
He admitted that while security forces were “eliminating” local militants — including those belonging to the Jaish — there was no warning or intelligence input about any of them being trained to become a “suicide bomber.”
He said: “The fact that we did not know that there was a fidayeen among them is also part of the intelligence failure. I can admit that. This man (the bomber identified as Adil Ahmad Dar) was very much on our list of suspects. But due to the pressure they were under, no one was giving them shelter in their homes. So he must have escaped to the jungles or the hills and got lost. We knew about him but could not trace him. This was just a chance thing and he was the rare one who got away. The rest have been getting killed.”
“The strategy will be decided in the security reviews but I can tell you that within three months we will finish them off. We have held panchayat elections and municipality elections and not a bird has been killed. In earlier occasions, so many people lost their lives during elections,” Malik said.
He attributed the Pulwama attack to the “frustration” that was being felt by handlers across the border. “There was pressure from Pakistan for the militants to do something big. This attack is the result of that desperation they were facing.”