The Government of India has strongly condemned the cowardly terrorist attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy at Awantipora in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on Thursday.
"This heinous and despicable act has been perpetrated by Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based and supported terrorist organisation proscribed by the United Nations and other countries. This terror group is led by the international terrorist Masood Azhar, who has been given full freedom by Government of Pakistan to operate and expand his terror infrastructure in territories under the control of Pakistan and to carry out attacks in India and elsewhere with impunity," Government of India said in a statement late in the evening.
New Delhi said it is firmly and resolutely committed to take all necessary measures to safeguard national security.
"We are equally resolved to fight against the menace of terrorism. We demand that Pakistan stop supporting terrorists and terror groups operating from their territory and dismantle the infrastructure operated by terrorist outfits to launch attacks in other countries," the statement reads.
India once again reiterated that all members of the international community should support its proposal to list terrorists, including JeM Chief Masood Azhar, as a designated terrorist under the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council and to ban terrorist organisations operating from territories controlled by Pakistan.
"We express our sincere condolences to the family members of our fearless security personnel who have made the supreme sacrifice," the statement said.
Earlier, at least 42 CRPF personnel were killed when a terrorist rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into the bus they were travelling in. Reports suggest that there were nearly 70 vehicles in the convoy in which around 2500 personnel were travelling.
The attack took place when the convoy was moving from Jammu to Srinagar at around 3.15 pm. The vehicles were blown up on the Srinagar-Jammu highway in Awantipora area of the district, a police official said. Several jawans were also injured in the IED blast, which reduced a bus to a mangled heap of iron. Following the blast, gunshots and grenade blasts were also heard.