India mourned the tragic death of 42 brave soldiers killed in the worst terror strike the security forces had ever witnessed in decades on February 14, 2019 near Awantipora, in the Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir. The nation stood united, in tears and with angst, against the incident in which a suicide vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Device (SVBIED) hit a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy, leaving one of the buses blown into smithereens. The political class vowed to take revenge and the united citizens of India stood behind them. The incident incited anti-terrorism and anti-Pakistan slogans in the Kashmir Valley after a long while. It also prompted a stand-off between India and Pakistan, the coverage of which has flooded the news media in both countries.
This article is not essentially about the military stand-off; rather, it addresses the very event that prompted it all – the Pulwama terror attack. This is because the incident has much more significance than it captured and could lead one to realise the perplexity of the current security scenario in one of the world’s highly militarised zones. Although the sentiment across the nation echoed solidarity, some adventurists on social media platforms, though in small numbers, questioned the timing of the blast when the general elections are due to be conducted in the country.
Nevertheless, the Pulwama terror strike evokes a lot of questions about the nation’s commitment to save and secure the lives of its soldiers who guard one of the hostile regions of the nation. The Pulwama terror strike also points to some serious interventions the political class administered on the security practices in Jammu and Kashmir. Those interventions, which came out of appeasement and adjustments, have now put the lives of security personnel in the state at high risk.