Security forces late on Wednesday (May 27) evening averted a possible recurrence of the 2019 Pulwama incident by intercepting a vehicle carrying about 40-45 kg of an improvised explosive device (IED).
In 2019, as many as 42 jawans lost their lives when an explosive-laden vehicle, driven by a suicide bomber zipped through a CRPF convoy at Lethpora in Pulwama district.
Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar said a similar attack was jointly planned by Jaish-e-Mohammed along with Hizbul Mujahideen.
On Wednesday, security forces, based on intelligence, intercepted a white Hyundai Santro car at a checkpoint in Pulwama. The driver, however, tried to rush through the barricade instead of stopping, goading security personnel to open fire. The driver however managed to escape, leaving the car behind.
“We had received information that a militant of Jaish-e-Mohammed is going to carry out the operation. So we suspect that Adil (occupant of the car carrying IED), a Hizbul Mujahideen militant is also in touch with Jaish-e-Mohammed,” ANI quoted Vijay Kumar as saying.
“He (Adil) intended to target vehicles of security forces. We are calling expert teams from the outside. We suspect that the vehicle was carrying 40-45 kg of explosives,” he added.
The IED in the car was destroyed by a bomb disposal squad and the resultant explosion blew up several houses in the area, said an NDTV report. People in the houses, however, were evacuated before the explosion.
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“It (car) was kept under watch for the night. People in nearby houses were evacuated and the vehicle was destroyed on the site by the bomb disposal squad as moving it would have been a serious threat,” NDTV quoted Director General of Police Dilbag Singh as saying.
The operation was carried out jointly by the army, police and paramilitary forces after receiving intelligence about a possible attack.
The 2019 Pulwama attack, which was carried out in a similar manner by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed, strained diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan. India in a retaliatory measure destroyed a training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad in Balakot through airstrikes.
While there has been a rise in terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir in the past few months, frequent encounters have claimed lives of 30 security personnel while 38 terrorists including Riyaz Naikoo, a commander of terrorist outfit Hizbul Mujahideen have been slain.