New Delhi: 48 hours after the deadly Pulwama terror attack that claimed lives of 40 CRPF personnel, India was wrapped in mourning as the tricolour-bedecked mortal remains of the slain jawans reached their homes and the last rites of the martyrs conducted with full state honours. Villagers and family members vented their anger and demanded that the government should avenge the deaths and give a befitting reply to the Pakistan-backed terrorists.
The political parties put up a united face and underlined their solidarity with security forces for defending the country’s unity and integrity. Expressing India’s determination to fight terrorism, a meeting of all political parties, including the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the main Opposition, the Congress, passed a resolution condemning the dastardly terror attack and support being given to it from across the border.
”India has during the past three decades faced the menace of cross border terrorism. Of late, terrorism in India is being actively encouraged by the forces across the border. India has displayed both firmness and resilience in dealing with these challenges. The entire nation speaks in one voice to express its determination to fight these challenges. Today, we stand united in solidarity with our security forces in fighting terrorism and in defending the unity and integrity of India,” the resolution passed at the end of an all-party meeting asserted, without naming Pakistan.
Notably, the meeting was a first-of-its-kind called by the ruling NDA under Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the wake of a terror attack.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also warned the attackers saying each drop of tears that the families of CRPF jawans have shed will be avenged. Addressing a public event in Dhule district of Maharashtra, PM Modi said,”Ye sanyam ka, samvedanshilta ka, shok ka samay hai, lekin har parivar ko main ye bharosa deta hu, aapke aankhon mein jo aansun hain, un aansuon ka pura pura jawab liya jaayega. (This is the time for patience, grief. But I assure every family that the perpetrators will not be spared).”
He reiterated,“Terror organisations who have committed this crime, no matter how much they try to hide, they will be punished. Security forces have been given full freedom.”
The Union government also decided to hike basic customs duty on all goods imported from Pakistan to 200 per cent. The decision comes into force with immediate effect, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on micro-blogging site Twitter. “India has withdrawn ‘Most Favoured Nation’ (MFN) status to Pakistan after the Pulwama incident. Upon withdrawal, basic customs duty on all goods exported from Pakistan to India has been raised to 200% with immediate effect,” the Finance Minister tweeted. India on Friday had revoked the MFN status to Pakistan in the aftermath of the terror attack.
Meanwhile, the Home Ministry issued a advisory to all the states and Union Territories asking them to ensure that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are safe after they allegedly received reports of harassment and threats. “There have been some reports of students and other residents of Jammu and Kashmir experiencing threats and intimidation in the wake of terrorist attack in Pulwama. Therefore, the MHA today issued an advisory to all states and UTs to take necessary measures to ensure their safety and security,” a Home Ministry official said.
Later, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik held a high-level meeting and reviewed law and order situation in the state. If reports are to be believed, Malik, during the meeting directed the police to take strict action against those who indulge in violence and spread fake news or rumours.
At least 40 CRPF jawans were killed on Thursday in the worst-ever terrorist attack that rocked Pulwama. The personnel were returning from leave to resume their duty. The attack was carried out nearly 30 km short of its destination – the Bakshi Stadium transit camp in Srinagar.