Intelligence warning of IED attack sent to CRPF, other security agencies last week

Pulwama CRPF attack

New
Delhi, Feb 15. The Kashmir Police on February 8 had sent an intelligence input
to the CRPF, BSF, ITBP, SSB, Army and the Air Force warning of a possible IED
attack, according to a letter written by the state police Inspector General.

By
Rajnish Singh  (IANS)

In the
worst-ever attack since militancy erupted in the state, at least 43 CRPF
personnel died and many others were injured on Thursday afternoon when a
suicide bomber belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammed rammed his vehicle packed with
improvised explosive device (IED) into a bus carrying Central paramilitary
force personnel.

The
intelligence input, sent on behalf of the Inspector General of Police, Kashmir,
asked all security agencies to “sanitize areas properly before occupying
your place or deployment as there are inputs that IEDs could be used”.

Headlined
“extremely urgent”, the letter accessed by IANS, was marked to the
Deputy Inspector General of Central Reserve Police Force, South Srinagar; DIG
CRPF, North Srinagar; DIG CRPF North Kashmir, Baramulla; DIG CRPF South
Kashmir, Awantipora; DIG CRPF South Kashmir, Anantnag; DIG Sashastra Seema Bal,
South Headquarters (Special Operations) Kashmir and all Senior Superintendent
of Police of Kashmir zone.

The
information was also shared with Inspector General, CRPF, Kashmir operations
sector, IG CRPF, Srinagar sector, IG Border Security Force Headquarter Kashmir,
all range Deputy Inspector Generals of Police of Kashmir zone, Brigadier
General Staff (operations) at the Srinagar-based 15 Corps, the DIG Indo-Tibetan
Border Police (ITBP), the Air Force, , the Commandant Central Industrial
Security Force (CISF) and SSP, Armed Police, Control Room Srinagar.

The
letter also mentioned that it should be for “all concerned”.

Despite the
early warning, the CRPF allowed its 78-vehicle convoy carrying 2,547 security
personnel to go from the transit camp in Jammu to Srinagar — a 270-km stretch.

A suicide
bomber, affiliated with Pakistan-based JeM terror group, rammed his SUV packed
with explosives into a CRPF bus on the Srinagar-Jammu highway in Pulwama
district, killing at least 43 troopers and leaving the security established
stunned. The incident took place around 3.15 p.m., triggering a deafening
explosion.

The JeM
later claimed responsibility for the horror and released a video clip of the
suicide bomber, a ‘commander’ identified as Adil Ahmad Dar, which it claimed
was shot before the young man carried out the strike in Lethpora, about 30 km
from here.

While
precise details of the attack were still unclear, police sources said the
suicide bomber-driven SUV came along the CRPF bus and rammed into it.

So
devastating was the attack — one report spoke of 200 kg of explosives,
including probably RDX, packed into the SUV — that the CRPF bus was left in a
mangled heap, many of its occupants losing their limbs.

CRPF
officials said the bus which was the main target of the militants was
completely destroyed while another CRPF vehicle was partly damaged. “It is
difficult to believe how anyone in that bus could have survived,” said a
police officer.

Jammu and
Kashmir Police chief Dilbag Singh said it could have been a suicide attack.
This was confirmed by other officials later.

This is the
worst single attack in Jammu and Kashmir since a nascent Pakistan-backed
separatist campaign began in 1989. It is also the worst attack carried out by
militants after the one on the Uri Army camp on September 18, 2016 left 19
soldiers dead — forcing New Delhi to launch ‘surgical strikes’ on terrorist
camps in Pakistan.

Officials
said the reason why so many CRPF personnel were on the move at one go was
because the Srinagar-Jammu highway had been shut for the past two days due to
bad weather. The convoy left Jammu before dawn.

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