Today marks the first anniversary of the gruesome and most brutal attack on our soldiers in recent times. We lost 40 plus CRPF personnel after a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist attacked their convoy with his car laden with explosives on 14th February last year. The tragedy shook the entire nation, what happened in Pulwama was nothing less than a massacre. But one year on, the families of the slain soldiers are still waiting for justice. No inquiry has been ordered till date as per the reports available in the media. It was only a few days ago that a supplementary charge sheet has been filed by the National Investigation Agency against JeM.
Today, blaring homages will be paid to all the slain soldiers all across the country, Pulwama hashtag will trend at social media platforms, tributes made on TV channels. But no one is answering the few basic questions –
- How did an attack of such magnitude be orchestrated in the most secure and militarized region in the world?
- How did a car laden with 300 kgs of RDX enter such a region despite so many check posts?
- Why the suicide bomber Adil Dar was not on the radar as a potential threat despite him being caught in a shoot-out with the security forces earlier?
- Why, even after the specific intel warnings, were the soldiers allowed to take that dreaded route and not air-flown?
- Why was a convoy consisting of 78 vehicles and 2,547 transients allowed against the sop?
- Why did it take long to file a charge sheet for one of the worst terror attacks which gained political importance as well?
- Why hasn’t any action been taken against those responsible for this security lapse?
- What is stopping a thorough and conclusive investigation?
While the questions remain unanswered, it is the family which suffers quietly. Most of the soldiers belonged to the remote villages of UP and Rajasthan. While their financial matters have been duly taken care of, by the CRPF, it is the grief which they are not able to come to terms with. When contacted, each family speaks about the angst and the anguish. This tragedy has made them face complex issues and challenges which very few of us would understand. Some families have resigned to the fate, some have these never-ending questions on their mind, some have family discord over the finances, some have been duped of the money on the pretext of more financial help, some have anxiety issues, some are unable to reconcile, some just refuse to talk.
But almost all of the families we spoke to were proud of their son/husband/father’s supreme sacrifice in the service of the nation. We as a nation will always be indebted to them but we also need to act on their behalf, get them justice. No one can just come and blow up our men in uniform. We need proper investigation, accountability and an honourable closure to this dastardly attack on the soul of our country. I can’t think of a better way to honour our braves, isn’t it?
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.