Experts of anti-terror commando force the National Security Guard (NSG) and investigators of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) left for Jammu and Kashmir on Friday to join the probe into the terror attack in Pulwama in which at least 42 CRPF personnel were killed, officials said. Explosive specialists of the Black Cat commando force NSG would also join in the investigation into the attack, PTI quoted another official as saying. At least 42 CRPF personnel were killed on Thursday in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a Jaish suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 350 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district that also left many critically wounded.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also left for Srinagar to take stock of the situation and hold review meetings with senior security and police officials to make ground level assessment. Rajnath Singh will also review further operational actions.
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On Thursday, a home ministry official had said an NIA team with forensic experts was being sent to Srinagar to assist Jammu and Kashmir Police in forensic evaluation of the scene of crime.
More than 2,500 Central Reserve Police Force personnel, many of them returning from leave to rejoin duty in the Valley, were travelling in the convoy of 78 vehicles when they were ambushed on the Srinagar-Jammu highway at Latoomode in Awantipora in south Kashmir.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued a stern warning to the terrorists and said they have to pay heavy price. Addressing media in New Delhi after the CCS meet, PM Modi said, “Our security forces have been given free hand. The forces behind this act of terrorism and those responsible for it, will be definitely be punished,” he said. “If our neighbour which is totally isolated in the world thinks it can destabilise India through its tactics and conspiracies, then it is making a big mistake,” PM Modi said without naming Pakistan.
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Meanwhile, Pakistan issued a midnight statement condemning the attack. However, Islamabad rejected that it was in any way involved in the attack. "We strongly reject any insinuation by elements in the Indian government and media circles that seek to link the attack to the State of Pakistan without investigations," the Foreign Office added.