Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the perpetrators of Thursday’s attack on the CRPF personnel’s convoy in Jammu and Kashmir, will be given “a befitting reply”.
A total of 45 CRPF personnel were killed when a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into a bus, which was part of a convoy carrying a large number of troopers in the State’s Pulwama district on the Jammu-Srinagar Highway on Thursday.
“A grateful nation bows to the martyrs of Pulwama. A befitting reply will be given to the perpetrators of the heinous attack and their patrons. No force will succeed in disturbing peace, progress and stability of India,” the Prime Minister stated in a tweet on Friday.
Ahead of flagging off the Vande Bharat Express, India’s fastest train, Modi warned those responsible for the attack in which 40 CRPF soldiers were killed would pay a “very heavy price” and had made a “big mistake”.
He said security forces had been given a free hand to act against terror.
Soon after presiding over a high-level security meet with senior ministers, he said: “I want to tell the terrorists and their backers… they have made a big mistake. You will have to pay a very heavy price… I assure everyone that the forces behind the attack… we will bring them to justice.”
“Security forces have been given permission to take decisions about the timing, place and nature of their response… This is an India of new convention and policy,” the Prime Minister said at a public meeting.
The government also held a Cabinet Committee on Security meeting, following which Union Minister Arun Jaitley said the government had decided to take all possible diplomatic steps to ensure Pakistan’s isolation and had withdrawn “Most Favoured Nation” status to the country.
“There is a lot of anger, people’s blood is boiling at what happened… I understand,” the Prime Minister said in his remarks on the terror attack.
“The neighbouring country, if it thinks it can destabilise India, it can forget it. That will never happen,” he said, adding, “We will give a fitting response to this attack.”
The Prime Minister also gave a call to all parties to stand united and rise above politics. “… Whether in the government or opposition, we must stay away from politics. The country is together. Our unity will be a big factor in defeating the enemy.”
Meanwhile, the Thursday’s attack evoked international condemnation including from the US and China.
“The US calls on Pakistan to end immediately the support and safe haven provided to all terrorist groups operating on its soil, whose only goal is to sow chaos, violence and terror in the region. This attack only strengthens our resolve to bolster counter-terrorism cooperation and coordination between the US and India,” US President Donald Trump’s Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
“We express our deep condolences to the victims’ families, the Indian government and the Indian people for the loss of life in this brutal attack,” the statement added.
Chinese Foreign Ministry also denounced the terror attack, hoping that “relevant regional countries will cooperate to cope with the threat of terrorism and jointly uphold regional peace and stability”.
It added that the “JeM has been included in the UN Security Council terrorism sanctions list and that China will continue to handle the relevant sanctions issue in a constructive and responsible manner”.