Indian community pays tribute to Pulwama martyrs

Monday, 18 Feb, 2019

Live updates: Security forces kill Pulwama attack mastermind A joint team of Army's 55 RR, CRPF and SOG cordoned off the area in the early morning hours on Monday following credible inputs about the presence of some terrorists.

The CRPF has chose to tweak the standard operating procedures (SOPs) framed to secure its convoys, in the wake of a "new threat" where an explosives-laden vehicle was detonated by a terrorist alongside the force's bus in Pulwama killing 40 personnel, the chief of the paramilitary force said Sunday.

Pakistan-based jihadi group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility for Friday's attack.

In the aftermath of the attack, India withdrew the "most favored nation" status given to Pakistan in trade services in 1996, which means India can now enhance customs duties on goods coming from Pakistan to any possible extent.

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in a press briefing said that Modi's cabinet had made a decision to initiate steps to ensure complete diplomatic isolation of Pakistan.

It had warned that "parliamentary elections in India increase the possibility of communal violence if Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stresses Hindu nationalist themes".

During the encounter, four Army soldiers including a Major were killed.

The security forces has also recovered one AK-47 & one pistol. Security force sources told Reuters one of the dead militants had been identified as Abdul Rashid Gazi, who went by the alias Kamran Bhai.

Pakistan has recalled its ambassador in New Delhi for consultations amid escalating tension with nuclear-armed neighbour India, Pakistan's foreign office spokesman said on Monday.

An indefinite curfew has been imposed and police have asked people to stay indoors.

Archrivals India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim the region in its entirety. A similar incident of non-residential Indians protesting against Pakistan's cowardly act was reported in London.

Government forces launched a massive hunt for militants after an explosives-packed van rammed a convoy transporting 2,500 security forces in Thursday's assault.

Representatives of India's National Investigating Agency questioned the suspects about the bombing on Sunday, two security officials said.

Nineteen Indian soldiers and three assailants were killed in that attack.

In recent years, mainly young Kashmiris have displayed solidarity with the rebels and sought to protect them by engaging troops in street clashes during India's counterinsurgency operations despite repeated warnings from the Indian authorities.