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PULWAMA ATTACK ANNIVERSARY: Memorial inaugurated, soldiers remembered

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Srinagar, Feb 14: A memorial was inaugurated and floral tributes were paid on Friday to 40 CRPF troopers who were killed in a car bomb suicide attack a year ago in Pulwama’s Lethpora area.
Senior officials of all the wings of the security forces — including the Army, the J&K police and the CRPF — laid wreaths at the memorial to pay tributes to the deceased soldiers. The names of all the soldiers, their ranks and battalions were displayed on the occasion.
On the occasion, Special Director General of CRPF for J&K Zulfiquar Hasan said that justice has been done with 40 “brave men” who died in deadly suicide attack as all Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militants involved in the act were killed and the outfit was decimated.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of wreath laying ceremony at the newly constructed memorial, Zulfiquar said that entire force stands by with the families of “fallen heroes.”
“Today, on the occasion of first anniversary of Lethpora attack, we remember all the 40 martyrs and stand by with their families,” he said.
Asked whether justice was done, he said: “We killed all the Jaish men including top commanders of the outfit involved in the Lethpora attack. Today, the outfit stands decimated,” he said.
On February 14 last year, Jaish militant Adil Dar, rammed his explosive laden car into the CRPF convoy coming from Jammu.
Fourty CRPF men died in the attack while several others were injured.
The police, army and the CRPF launched a joint assault on the Jaish soon after the attack and a joint strategy was chalked out with a sole aim to wipe out Jaish.
As per official figures, 36 militants of Jaish were killed including all nine commanders of the outfit, who according to the security officials had hatched conspiracy and were involved in the Lethpora attack.
“Today, not just the Jaish, but all other militant outfits are at the back foot. We took Jaish head on soon after the Lethpora attack,” the special DGP said.
Asked about the relief and compensation provided to the families of slain CRPF men, the special DG said that the force has a structured system and the concerns of families of “martyrs” are being taken care of.
Laying wreaths at the memorial set up at the 185 battalion headquarters of CRPF at Lethpora, top officials and CRPF personnel vowed to face the challenge of militancy bravely as a professional force.
Meanwhile, Professor Umesh Gopinath Jadhav, who runs a NGO in Maharashtra was the special guest at the wreath-laying ceremony for collecting soil from the lawns of all the 40 fallen men of CRPF.
Jadhav said he travelled 61,000 kilometers across India to collect the soil from the lawns of all the 40 soldiers who lost their lives in the attack. “
The soil collected from the homes of all 40 brave hearts is with me and today I presented it to the Special Director General of CRPF and requested him to add the at the memorial constructed in the memory of brave men,” he said. “This is a little contribution which makes me feel proud today.” (With inputs from KNO)