Cong leader Rahul Gandhi hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday and said that the Prime Minister was busy shooting a film on February 14, 2019

Two days after February 14, 2021, which marked 2 years of Pulwama attack, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday and said that the Prime Minister was busy shooting a film on that fateful day. While stating that PM Modi ignored prior intelligence inputs and left Jawans to die in Pulwama, the Congress leader took to Twitter and asked, "Why were actionable intelligence inputs ignored?"

Rahul Gandhi's politicisation and continued refusal to blame Pakistan first-and-foremost comes after the Jammu & Kashmir police and security forces foiled a major terrorist effort on the Pulwama anniversary day, defusing a 7kg IED that forensic experts claimed was as powerful as the one that martyred 40 CRPF Jawans in the worst terror attack on Indian forces in many decades.

Pulwama Terror Attack: A Black Day For India

Two years ago on February 14, 2019, 40 Indian soldiers were martyred in one of the worst terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama. After the deadly attack, a Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) had claimed responsibility for this terror attack. A 22-year-old suicide bomber Adil Ahmad Dar rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into the bus. The convoy had 78 buses in which around 2,500 personnel were travelling from Jammu to Srinagar. The attack, which was reported near Awantipora at nearly 3:15 pm resulted in the death of 40 CRPF Jawans, while many others were left injured.

After this attack, India had also withdrawn the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to Pakistan and the whole international community had expressed its strong support to India in the wake of the terror attack. The memorial having names of all 40 Jawans killed in the attack was inaugurated on February 14, 2020, at CRPF's Training Centre at Lethpora camp in Pulwama. The memorial is inscribed with the names of all the 40 troopers along with their photographs and the motto of the CRPF -- "Seva and Nishtha" (Service and Loyalty).

Earlier on Republic Day 2021, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) ASI Mohan Lal who lost his life during the Pulwama attack in 2019, was awarded the President Police Medal for Gallantry (PPMG) posthumously. Mohan Lal was awarded the medal for spotting the IED-laden car and having fired to stop the car before it rammed into a bus in the convoy that killed the suicide bomber and 40 CRPF personnel on February 14, 2019.

Balakot Airstrike And India's Revenge

Following this attack, India after few days carried out an airstrike on JeM's Balakot terror training camp in Pakistan. On February 26, 12 Mirage 2000 jets of the Indian Air Force crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and fired precision missiles into Balakot, Pakistan. India stated that it attacked a JeM training camp and killed a large number of terrorists, reported to be between 300 and 350. 

Later on February 27, the Pakistan Air Force conducted an airstrike into Jammu and Kashmir in retaliation for the Indian airstrike the day before. Both Pakistan and India agreed that no damage was caused by Pakistan's airstrike. However, in an ensuing dogfight between Indian and Pakistani jets, an Indian MiG-21 was shot down over Pakistan and its pilot - Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured. Pakistan later released Varthaman on March 1. A Pakistani F-16 was also downed by Indian fighters.