News Frontliner Web Desk, 15 February 2019: Amidst several questions being raised on possible intelligence and security protocol lapses, investigators of anti-terror commando force the National Security Guard (NSG) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) headed to the terror site at Awantipora in Pulwama district of Jammu & Kashmir where at least 49 CRPF personnel has been killed yesterday.
Here are the three most intriguing questions being raised about security lapses that possibly led to the most number of deaths in a single terror attack in over three decades in Jammu and Kashmir.
Just two days before the horrific Pulwama terror attack, Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) had uploaded a video from Afghanistan of a car bombing, and openly threatened a similar attack in Kashmir. According to sources, the Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Investigation Department had shared the video and inputs about a possible terror attack, by JeM.
In spite of such a strong message, occurrence of the deadliest terror attack killing so many security personnel raises serious doubts about security lapses in the valley.
Security protocol insists that all kind of security personnel must travel in small groups, as large contingents travelling at a time is more susceptible to terror which again leads to higher number of casualties.
The convoy more than 2,500 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel which started around 3:30 am from Jammu, was big because the highway had been shut over bad weather for two days. Most of the CRPF men were rejoining duty after leave and were to report in Srinagar for deployment.
Usually in this type of situation, troops are airlifted for safety and security reasons; but in this case, the large contingent was moving together, setting it up for a possible terror strike; more so after the recent threat by JeM.
So, the question remains as to why so many security men were exposed to a situation where there was the possibility of a terror ambush.
In spite of the fact that the Jammu-Srinagar highway had been sanitised in the morning for the safe movement of CRPF buses, suicide bomber Adil Ahmad Dar getting to the convoy unnoticed with a Scorpio car laden with 350 kilograms of RDX; this could only happen due to major lapses.
The fact that the buses ferrying CRPF men moving close together is a huge violation of Standard Operating Procedure. Any two vehicles in a convoy must be at a safe distance apart so that collateral damage is minimised.
Also how the suicide bomber got hold of such a large quantum of RDX is a big question mark on the security arrangement in Kashmir.
Thus violation of SOP’s, security protocol and undermining the power of the terrorist groups active in the Kashmir valley raises questions that has to be relooked into.