Centre Decides to Stop India’s Share of Water to Pak: Gadkari
Centre Decides to Stop India’s Share of Water to Pak: Gadkari
(Photo: PTI)

Centre Decides to Stop India’s Share of Water to Pak: Gadkari

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday, 21 February, announced that the government has decided to hold India’s share of water to Pakistan.

Gadkari’s tweet comes a week after at least 40 CRPF personnel were killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama terror attack. However, the project’s implementation was already approved in December 2018.

“We will divert water from Eastern rivers and supply it to our people in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab," Nitin Gadkari said in a series of tweets.

Earlier today, Congress and the BJP traded barbs, blaming each other for politicising the attack.

Meanwhile, NIA on Wednesday took over the Pulwama attack probe and re-registered the case. MHA had on Tuesday transferred the case to the NIA.

Snapshotclose

  • NIA has re-registered the case and formed a team to investigate the terror strike, an NIA spokesperson said
  • Pakistan PM Imran Khan had, on Tuesday, said the Indian government should engage in talks and discussion and warned that Pakistan will retaliate if India considers attack.
  • On 18 Feb, three Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists including the suspected mastermind of the Pulwama attack were gunned down in an encounter
  • Four army men, including a Major, and one civilian were also killed
  • 40 CRPF personnel were killed after a car carrying about 350 kg of explosives hit a CRPF convoy of 78 vehicles on 14 February

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NEWEST FIRSTOLDEST FIRST
(3) NEW UPDATES
KEY EVENT

Four Army Men Killed in Encounter in J&K's Pulwama

Four Army men, including a Major, were killed in an encounter that broke out between terrorists and security forces in Pinglan area of Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama on Monday, 18 February.

The terrorists are suspected to belong to Pakistan-based outfit Jaish-e-Mohammmed, which claimed responsibility for the suicide bomb attack on a CRPF convoy last week.

Civilian Also Killed in Pulwama Encounter: Reports

According to reports, a civilian has also been killed in the Pulwama encounter.

Firing Resumes at Encounter Site: Report

According to reports, firing has resumed at the encounter site in Pulwama as the area is under cordon. The operation is still on.

KEY EVENT

Two Terrorists Believed to Be Trapped at Pulwama Encounter Site

A Pakistan-based terrorist Kamran and a local named Hilal are believed to be trapped at the encounter site in Pulwama, reported CNN-News18.

KEY EVENT

Four Armymen Killed in Encounter Identified

The four army men who were killed in the encounter have been identified as Major VS Dhoundiyal, Havaldar Sheo Ram, Sepoy Ajay Kumar and Sepoy Hari Singh.

KEY EVENT

Top JeM Commander Believed to Be Trapped

A top Jaish-e-Mohammed commander linked to the Pulwama attack is believed to be trapped in the ongoing encounter with security forces, ANI reported, citing sources.

KEY EVENT

JeM Mastermind of Pulwama Attack Killed: Report

A Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist identified as Kamran, who is believed to be the mastermind behind the Pulwama attack, has been killed, reported CNN-News18, citing sources. Another JeM terrorist has also been killed in the encounter, while one more is believed to be still trapped.

KEY EVENT

Two JeM Terrorists Killed in Pulwama Encounter

Two Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists, including one believed to be the mastermind behind the Pulwama attack, have been killed in an encounter.

The terrorists have been identified as Kamran, said to be a Pakistan-based terrorist and a close aide of JeM chief Masood Azhar, and Hilal, a local.

“One of the two slain JeM terrorists was a top commander and belonged to Pakistan.”
Colonel Rajesh Kalia, Defence Ministry Spokesperson, as quoted by IANS
KEY EVENT

AK-47, Pistol Recovered; Police Urge Locals to Leave the Encounter Site

An AK-47 gun and a pistol have been recovered from the encounter site in Pulwama. As the search operation continues, the police have appealed to the locals to leave the spot.

KEY EVENT

Pak Recalls Envoy For Consultations

Days after an attack by Pakistan-sponsored JeM resulted in the deaths of 40 CRPF personnel in Pulwama, Pakistan has recalled its envoy to India “for consultations”. India had also recalled its high commissioner to Pakistan last week for consultations with the Ministry of External Affairs.

KEY EVENT

'Morale of Security Forces is High': Rajnath Singh

Speaking on the ongoing encounter in Pulwama, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, "The morale of the security forces is high. They are being successful in neutralising the terrorists."

Akhilesh Attacks Modi Govt Over Soldiers' Deaths

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav sought to corner the Narendra Modi-led government on Monday, 18 February, over the deaths of soldiers and asked, "Why is the govt waiting and watching?"

Army Constantly Briefing Defence Minister on Developments in Kashmir: Sources

The Army is constantly briefing Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and other senior government functionaries on the developments in Kashmir, Army sources told ANI.

The Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists have moved from their hideouts to locations near populated areas, fearing retaliation from security forces, sources further said.

“Pakistan Army positions across the border on the LoC are seeing heightened activities as they are on high operational alert.”
Army sources to ANI

Also Read : Chapter on Pulwama Martyrs May Be Part of Rajasthan School Books 

'Pulwama Terrorist Attack Proves That Times for Talks Have Passed': PM Modi

While issuing a joint statement with Argentinian President Mauricio Macri, Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked about the Pulwama attack, saying:

“President Mauricio Macri and I agree that terrorism is a huge threat for global peace and stability. Brutal terrorist attack in Pulwama proves that time for talks have passed. Now, the entire world needs to unite against terrorism and its supporters and take strong actions.”
PM Modi, as quoted by ANI

Hesitating from taking action against terrorists is also kind of encouraging terrorism, Modi said, as he urged the G20 countries to implement the 11-point agenda of Hamburg Leaders' Statement.

"India and Argentina will issue a special declaration on terrorism today," he announced.

Curfew Relaxed for Few Hours on Monday

The authorities relaxed curfew for three hours in parts of the city where it was imposed on Friday following massive anti-Pakistan protests and sporadic incidents of violence over the terror attack in Pulwama district which left 40 CRPF personnel dead.

The authorities urged the people to maintain peace and tranquility and do not allow the miscreants to create any trouble in their respective areas.

District Magistrate, Jammu, Ramesh Kumar while announcing relaxation in curfew in areas falling under five police stations of the city said prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC will remain in force in these areas as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order, he added.

Cross-Loc Bus Service Suspended in J&K's Poonch

The weekly Poonch-Rawalakot cross-LoC bus service was suspended in view of the prevailing law and order situation in Jammu, following the recent terror attack on a CRPF convoy in south Kashmir, a senior officer said.

“The cross-LoC (Line of Control) bus service was suspended in view of the prevailing law and order situation,” Poonch District Development Commissioner Rahul Yadav told PTI.

The passengers were accordingly informed well in time about the suspension of the service, he said.

Cricketer Mohd Shami Donates Money to Wives of CRPF Jawans

Cricketer Mohd Shami has donated money to the wives of the CRPF Jawans who lost their lives in the Pulwama terror attack.

“When we play for our country they stand at the borders protecting it. We stand with the families of our Jawans, we will always be there for them,” Shami said.

KEY EVENT

I Have Doubts Why Pulwama Attack Happened Before Elections: Mamata

“I have doubts why the Pulwama attacks happened right before the elections,” West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee raised questions on the Pulwama attack while addressing a press conference in Kolkata on Monday, 18 February.

DIG South Kashmir, Brigadier Among 4 Injured in Pulwama Encounter

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of South Kashmir Amit Kumar was injured in an encounter between terrorists and security forces on Monday, 18 February, in Pulwama district, ANI reported.

Kashmiris Deserve Our love and Compassion: Mehbooba Mufti

In a joint appeal, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti urged the central government to ensure the safety of Kashmiris.

KEY EVENT

Operation Concluded in Jammu and Kashmir, 3 Terrorists Killed

Operation conclude at Pinglana in Pulwama. According to reports, three terrorists have been killed.

“One more terrorist has been killed in the encounter with security forces. One more security personnel has also lost his life. All three killed terrorists belonged to the Jaish-e-Mohammad. Arms & ammunition recovered from the site of encounter,” Jammu and Kashmir police said.

Wreath Laying of Head Constable Abdul Rashid Kalas

Mortal Remains of Havaldar Sheo Ram Arrives in Jabalpur

Mortal remains of Havaldar Sheo Ram were brought to Jaipur airport earlier tonight, reported ANI. He lost his life in an encounter in J&K's Pulwama on 18 February.

Bikaner DM Asks Pak Citizens to Leave District Within 48 Hrs

The District Magistrate in Rajasthan’s Bikaner has issued a list of orders, effective immediately, under section 144 CrPc in light of Pulwama terror attack.

The order asks Pakistani citizens to leave the district within 48 hrs, and prohibits hotels in Bikaner border area from allowing citizens from the neighbouring country. The order applicable for two months, reported ANI.

India Wants Pulwama Revenge Now: Amarinder Singh

Demanding an "eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth", Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday wanted coercive action against Pakistan, now in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, saying India should get two of them for every soldier killed in the carnage.

Asserting that the entire country was "fed up" with the senseless killings of Indian soldiers in Kashmir, Singh said the coercive action could be military, diplomatic or economic, or a combination of all the three.

Singh also said that it's clear that the Pakistan Army was calling the shots, with Prime Minister Imran Khan also a "plant" of the military.

(Source: PTI)

Don't Judge Policy Based on One Incident: Gen VK Singh

Minister of State for External Affairs General (retd) VK Singh said on Tuesday, 19 February, that the Kashmir issue was not simple and one of proxy war.

“It's an issue for which things should've been done earlier. Don't judge the success or failure of a policy, based on one incident. There was encounter, where an officer and three jawans died... (this) doesn't mean the situation is bad,” he said.

Need Bulletproof Jackets More Than Bullet Train: Akhilesh

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav continued his onslaught against the Narendra Modi government over the Pulwama encounter, raising questions over the intelligence failure in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Why is Intelligence failing? You can't compensate for loss of lives. The nation is with security forces and jawans. If all political parties have put their political events on hold, ruling party should do the same and form a long-term strategy to secure borders,” Yadav said.

“Today, the country does not need the bullet train... it is more important to ensure soldiers have bulletproof jackets,” he added, as per ANI.

Wreath Laying Ceremony Held for Major VS Dhoundiyal in Dehradun

People paid their last respects to Major VS Dhoundiyal in Dehradun on Tuesday, 19 February. He was one of the four army personnel who had lost their lives in an encounter in Pulwama on Monday.

Visuals From Sepoy Hari Singh's Residence in Rewari

Pakistan Has Killed So Many Sons: Sepoy Ajay Kumar's Mother

Mother of Sepoy Ajay Kumar, who lost his life in the encounter with terrorists in Pulwama on Monday said that she was proud of her son for his sacrifice.

"Pakistan has killed so many sons. Pakistan isn’t that big that India can’t destroy it... India can destroy it in one day. I'm proud of my son, he sacrificed his life for the country," she said.

(Source: ANI)

KEY EVENT

'Have Eliminated Top JeM Leadership in Less Than 100 Hours'

The Indian Army on Tuesday, 19 February, said that within 100 hours of the 14 February Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy, that left 40 troopers dead, it has eliminated the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) leadership that planned and executed the deadly carnage.

This was stated by Lt Gen K.S. Dhillon of the 15 Corps Commander, at a joint press briefing here in Jammu and Kashmir.

He was addressing a joint press conference with SP Pani, IGP Kashmir, and Zulfiquar Hasan, IGP, CRPF.

Reacting to the news, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, as per CNN-News18: “This is a big achievement for the security forces that they have eliminated two masterminds of the Pulwama encounter.”

Anyone Who Takes Up Arms in Kashmir Will be Eliminated: KJS Dhillon

Lt Gen KJS Dhillon gave a stern warning to sympathisers of the terror movement in the Valley during a press conference held on Tuesday, saying: "Anyone who picks up a gun in Kashmir will be eliminated, unless the person surrenders."

“In a Kashmiri society, the mother has a great role to play. Through you, I would request the mothers of Kashmir to please request their sons, who've joined terrorism, to surrender and get back to the mainstream. Anyone who has picked up a gun will be killed and eliminated, unless he surrenders,” Dhillon said, as per ANI.

Significant Dip in Recruitment in Valley: IGP Kashmir

IGP Kashmir SP Pani, while addressing the media, said that there is a significant dip in recruitment in militancy in the Valley.

“We have not see any recruitment in the last three months. The families are playing a huge role in this. We would like to urge the families and the community in curtailing recruitment,”Pani said.

KEY EVENT

Pulwama Attack Masterminded by JeM, ISI: Lt Gen KJS Dhillon

Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon, Corps Commander of Chinar Corps, Indian Army, said on Tuesday, 19 February, that the Pulwama suicide bombing was masterminded by Jaish-e-Mohammed and Pakistan's ISI.

Dhillon said this while addressing a joint press conference with IG Kashmir SP Pani and IG CRPF Zulfiquar Hasan.

“There is no doubt about their involvement,” he said.

He also said that “anyone who enters Kashmir Valley will not go back alive.”

CRPF Helpline Aiding Kashmirs Across India: CRPF IG

Zulfiquar Hasan, IG (operations) of the CRPF, said that a helpline (14411) set up by the force has been helping Kashmiris across the country in the wake of the Pulwama attack.

Speaking at a joint press conference addressed by the Indian Army, CRPF and J&K Police, Hasan said: “A lot of Kashmiri students have approached this helpline for help all over the country. All Kashmiri children studying outside have been taken care of by security forces.”

SOP on Civilian Cars to be Changed Post Pulwama: CRPF

Zulfiquar Hasan, IG (operations) of the CRPF, while speaking at a joint press conference addressed by the Indian Army, CRPF and J&K Police, said that the standard operating procedure (SOP) on civilian cars will change in the Valley post the Pulwama attack.

"The incident happened because of an improvised explosive device (IED) laden civilian car. The Road Opening Party (ROP) had secured the highway. Now, SOP on civilian cars will be changed," Hasan said.

"Restrictions have been put on the movement of civilian traffic when a convoy is moving. We are working out modalities as to how best it can be streamlined so that minimum delay is caused to civilian traffic,” Lt Gen KJS Dhillon said.

Probe to Determine Type of Explosives Used in Pulwama Underway: KJS Dhillon

"We have leads on the type of explosives used (in the Pulwama terror attack) but I can't share the details as an investigation is underway," KJS Dhillon, Corps Commander of Chinar Corps, Indian Army, said, during a joint press conference addressed by the Indian Army, CRPF and J&K Police.

He also said that this type of car bomb attack was seen after a long time in Kashmir. “We will keep all options open to deal with these kinds of attacks,” he said.

KEY EVENT

Pak Seeks Urgent UN Intervention to 'Defuse Tensions' With India Post Pulwama

Pakistan has sought the UN's urgent intervention to "defuse tensions" with India following the Pulwama terror attack, the country’s Foreign Office said on Tuesday, 19 February.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday, saying: “It is with a sense of urgency that I draw your attention to the deteriorating security situation in our region resulting from the threat of use of force against Pakistan by India."

He also said in the letter that attributing the attack to Pakistan even before investigations was absurd, as per PTI.

Pak PM to Address Media on Pulwama Attack

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is scheduled to address the media on the Pulwama terror attack shortly amid rising tensions with India.

Pak Doesn’t Have Anything to Gain From Pulwama Attack: Imran Khan

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday, 19 February, assured India that action would be taken against the perpetrators of the Pulwama attack if New Delhi shares "actionable intelligence", but warned against any retaliatory action on his country.

In a video message to the nation, Khan responded to the Indian allegations on Pakistan's involvement in the attack in Kashmir on last Thursday.

Stating that Pakistan wants "stability in the region", Khan said, as per PTI. "If India has evidence or actionable intelligence, they should give it to us and we will take action."

Also Read : If India Attacks, We’ll Retaliate: Imran Khan on Pulwama Attack

KEY EVENT

If India Considers Attack, We’ll Retaliate: Imran Khan

While addressing the media on Pulwama, Pakistan PM Imran Khan said that if New Delhi considers attacking Pakistan, Islamabad will retaliate.

"If India retaliates, we will not think and retaliate back," he said, as per PTI. "It is easy to start a war but difficult to end it.”

"I want to ask India if they want to live in the past. Its not in our interests that somebody from here goes out to do terrorism, nor that somebody comes here and does terrorism," he added.

Spiritualist Amritanandamayi's Gesture to Kin of Jawans

Spiritualist Mata Amritanandamayi Math announced a donation of Rs 5 lakh to each of the families of 40 CRPF jawans martyred in the suicide bomb attack in Pulwama district in Jammu and Kashmir.

"My heart goes out to their families and loved ones. May we all pray for their peace and well-being. It is our dharma to support the families of these brave men who died while doing their dharma of protecting the nation," she said in a statement.

Walk the Talk: Mehbooba to Imran Khan on Pulwama Attack

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has said Pakistan was not being blamed for the Pulawama terror attack without any evidence and asked its Prime Minister Imran Khan to walk the talk.

However, Mufti said Khan deserves a chance since he has recently taken over the reigns of the country.

“Disagree. Pathankot dossier was given to them (Pakistan) but no action was taken to punish the perpetrators. Time to walk the talk,” Mehbooba said in a tweet.

"But Pak PM deserves a chance since he has recently taken over. Of course the war rhetoric (in India) has more to do with the impending elections that anything else (sic)," she added.

Not Surprised with Pak’s Reaction, Khan Didn’t Condemn Attack: MEA

Responding to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement on Pulwama attack, the Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday, 19 February, said that “the Pakistani Prime Minister has ignored claims made by the Jaish-e-Mohammad, as well as by the terrorist, who perpetrated this heinous crime.”

They further added that it is not surprising that they have refused to acknowledge the attack on security forces.

Read the full statement here.

In 'Naya Pak', Ministers Share Platforms With Terrorists: Raveesh Kumar

Speaking to news agency ANI, MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, ““In this Naya Pakistan, ministers publicly share platforms with terrorists like Hafiz Saeed who have been proscribed by United Nations.”

No Word Is Sufficient to Assuage the Anger: Nirmala Sitharaman

Assuring that every effort will be taken to prevent any future incident such as the Pulwama attack, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “I would not want to say how our government is going to respond to this as no word is sufficient enough to assuage the anger and disappointment of every person of the country.”

KEY EVENT

France to Move Proposal at UN to Ban JeM Chief Masood Azhar

France will be moving a proposal at the UN in a “couple of days” to ban Masood Azhar, chief of the UN-proscribed JeM which has claimed responsibility of the Pulwama terror strike that left 40 CRPF personnel dead, French sources said on Tuesday.

This will be the second time France will be party to such a proposal at the UN. In 2017, the US, supported by the UK and France, had moved a proposal at the UN's Sanctions Committee 1267 to ban the chief of the Pakistan-based terror outfit.

However, the proposal was blocked by China.

"At the UN, France will lead a proposal to put Masood Azhar on the terrorist list... It will happen in a couple of days," a senior French source told PTI.

'Don't Mess With My Country', Says Imran on Facebook Page

Soon after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's address to the nation on the Pulwama terror attack in India's Jammu and Kashmir, an image on his official Facebook page was posted with the caption: "Don't mess with my country."

In a video message, five days after the Pulwama terror attack, Khan responded to the India's allegations on Pakistan's involvement in the suicide strike carried out by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror group that left 40 CRPF personnel dead.

The post with Khan's image and a Pakistani flag in the background included some quotes from his address.

"If India thinks it will attack Pakistan then we will not just think but retaliate," said the quote written in Urdu.

Himachal Cricket Association Removes Photos of Pakistani Cricketers

Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association removes photographs of Pakistani cricketers from Dharamshala stadium in protest against Pulwama Attack.

Tibetan Students in Gujarat Pay Tribute to CRPF Jawans

Tibetan students of Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda held a candlelight prayer in Vadodara, Gujarat and paid tribute to the CRPF jawans who lost their lives in the Pulwama attack on 14 February.

UN Human Rights Chief Strongly Condemns Pulwama Attack

The top United Nations human rights official has strongly condemned last week's suicide bomb attack against Indian security forces in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, calling on authorities to bring those responsible to justice.

"The High Commissioner strongly condemns the suicide bomb attack against Indian security forces in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on 14 February and calls on authorities to bring those responsible to justice," spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Rupert Colville, said, as per PTI.

Also Read : UN Human Rights Chief Strongly Condemns Pulwama Attack

After Himachal, Karnataka Cricket Association Removes Photos of Pak Players

Karnataka State Cricket Association has decided to remove all photographs of Pakistan Cricketers, including of Pakistan PM Imran Khan, to ‘show support to the armed forces and express strong protest’ against the recent terrorist bombing at Pulwama, ANI reported.

Indian Americans to Protest Outside Chinese, Pak Diplomatic Missions

The Indian American community will hold peaceful protests outside the Pakistani and Chinese diplomatic missions in the US over the Pulwama terrorist attack, alleging China provides tacit support to Pakistan which uses non-State actors against its neighbours.

A candlelight protest will be held outside the Pakistan Consulate in Chicago after which the protesters will march to the Chinese consulate on Thursday, 21 February, the organisers have said, as per PTI.

The main objective of the protest, according to the organisers, is to "expose the barbaric nature" of Pakistani terrorism.

Calls for India to Forfeit Cricket WC Match Against Pak Gain Momentum

In the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, calls for India to not play its scheduled match against Pakistan in the upcoming Cricket World Cup are gaining momentum.

The Cricket Club of India (CCI) and Cricketer Harbhajan Singh also echoed similar sentiments.

“India is strong enough to win the World Cup even if they decide to forfeit the match against Pakistan in Manchester on 16 June,” Singh told CNN-News18.

Meanwhile, IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla told the news channel that Pakistan should be wary about supporting terrorism. “I cannot comment about the whether we will play Pakistan in the World Cup... it’s still far away, but our policy in this matter is clear: We'll not play Pakistan till we get a nod from the government.”

BCCI sources quoted by ANI said that “if the government at that point in time feels we shouldn't play, it's obvious that we won't play.”

Also Read : India Should Avoid Playing Pakistan in the WC: Harbhajan Singh

'Horrible Situation': Trump on Pulwama

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday, 19 February, described as a "horrible situation" the Pulwama attack and said he was getting reports on it and would issue a statement.

"I have watched. I have got a lot of reports on it. We will have comment (on it) at an appropriate time. It would be wonderful if they (India and Pakistan) get along," Trump said, as per PTI.

"That (the terrorist attack) was a horrible situation. We are getting reports. We will have a statement to put out," Trump added.

Also Read : ‘Pulwama Attack a Horrible Situation,’ Says US Prez Donald Trump 

BJP Leaders Belittling the Nation: Chandrababu Naidu on Pulwama

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu commented on Pakistan PM Imran Khan's statement on the Pulwama attack, saying he had “many apprehensions over his statement”.

He also said that the threat to national security was “because of the inefficiency of the ruling party”.

“BJP leaders are belittling the nation with their petty actions and wrongdoings,” Naidu said, as per PTI. “Will not tolerate jeopardising national security for self-interests... will not tolerate playing with army for political gains. Tough action should be taken on terror attacks (sic).”

New Zealand Parliament Passes Motion Condemning Pulwama Attack

In a significant development, the New Zealand Parliament on Wednesday, 20 February, passed a motion condemning the 14 February Pulwama terror attack.

The motion was moved by Deputy PM Winston Peters. “I move the motion that this House condemn the 14 February act of terrorism on Indian CRPF leading to large loss of life. We express solidarity with Government of India at this difficult time as well as offer our deep sympathies to those affected,” he said, as per ANI.

With this, New Zealand became the first country to do so.

Maharashtra Petrol Pumps to Close for 20 Mins to Honour Pulwama Martyrs

The Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers (CIPD) has appealed its members to keep their petrol pumps and other fuel stations in Maharashtra closed for 20 minutes on Wednesday, 20 February, as a mark of homage to CRPF jawans who lost their lives in the Pulwama attack, ANI reported.

Ravi Shinde, secretary of CIPD, Maharashtra, said: “Today, between 7-7:20 pm, all petrol pumps in Maharashtra will remain closed. The lights of all petrol pumps will remain off during that 20 min period.”

JeM, Masood Azhar Under ISI Protection: Kapil Sibal

Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said on Wednesday, 20 February, that Pakistan's ISI was “the designer of terrorism" and protects Jaish-e-Mohammed.

“Masood Azhar is under ISI's protection. JeM took responsibility for the Pulwama attack. So, when the designer of terrorism is in Pakistan protecting terror attacks, we know who is responsible for all this,” Sibal said, as per ANI.

KEY EVENT

Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Meets Rajnath Singh in Delhi

India's High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria and India's Ambassador to the US, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, on Wednesday, 20 February, met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi.

The meetings come in the aftermath of last week's suicide bombing in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district which killed 40 CRPF troopers.

Bisaria was called back to Delhi for consultations after the Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack.

The High Commissioner of India to Pakistan, Ajay Bisaria, and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
The High Commissioner of India to Pakistan, Ajay Bisaria, and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
(Photo: ANI)

2G Internet Services Restored in Jammu

Internet services that were suspended in the wake of violent protests after the Pulwama attack have been restored at 2G speeds, ANI reported.

Trying to Put Masood Azhar on UN Sanctions List: France Envoy to India

Ambassador of France to India Alexandre Ziegler on Wednesday, 20 February, said that his country is pushing to put Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar on the UN sanctions list.

"We are very much pushing in that direction. It has been two years that we are trying to put him on the UN sanctions list," Ziegler told ANI.

Also Read : France to Move Proposal at UN to Ban JeM Chief Masood Azhar

Only Modi Govt Capable of Giving Befitting Reply to Pak-backed Terrorists : Yogi

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, while speaking at a public rally in Odisha’s Bhawanipatna, said that only the Narendra Modi-led government was “capable of giving a befitting reply to Pakistan-backed terrorists”.

“Make him prime minister again to keep the country secure,” he added, as per PTI.

“We all need to decide that the fight against terrorism is not an individual's or any party's fight, it is the nation's battle... in which every citizen must pledge to work together under the leadership of (Narendra) Modi,” Yogi said.

Need to Pressurise Countries Harbouring Terrorism: PM Modi

While addressing a joint statement with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman on Wednesday, 20 February, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the Pulwama terror attack was reflective of rising global security concerns.

“We agreed that there is a need to increase pressure on the countries which support terrorism,” Modi said, as per ANI.

Salman, in response, said that Saudi Arabia will cooperate on all fronts. “Extremism and terrorism are our common concerns. We would like to tell our friend India that we'll cooperate on all fronts. We'll work with everyone to ensure a brighter future for our upcoming generations.”

Also Read : In Statement With Saudi Prince, PM Modi Brings Up Pulwama Attack

UK Regrets What Happened in Kashmir: British High Commissioner to India

Dominic Asquith, the British High Commissioner to India, said on Wednesday, 20 February, that the United Kingdom deplores acts of terrorism.

“Both UK and India have suffered from terrorist attacks. So, what has happened in India last week in Kashmir is something that we regret. We send our condolences and we deplore terrorism wherever it takes place,” Asquith said, as per ANI.

Will Support Proposal at UN to Ban Masood Azhar: Russian Minister

Russian Minister Denis Manturov on Wednesday, 20 February, said that Russia will “definitely” support India in the UN Security Council to declare Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.

"We would also like to convey our condolences about the terrorist attack that happened. Russia supports India in question of terrorism (sic),” Manturov said, as per ANI.

KEY EVENT

NIA Takes Over Pulwama Attack Investigation

The National Investigation Agency on Wednesday re-registered a case to probe the 14 February Pulwama terror strike in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed, officials said.

The NIA has already taken samples of the explosives and evidence from the area in south Kashmir's Pulwama district, where a suicide bomber of the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed detonated his explosives-laden vehicle next to the bus carrying the CRPF personnel.

An NIA spokesperson said the agency has "re-registered the case and a probe team has been formed to investigate the case."

“DG/NIA along with a team of officers including two IGs, DIG and SP visited the place of occurrence of the incident. The officers of CRPF and local Police were also present there. He was briefed by the officers about the progress made in  investigation so far," the statement said.

The agency is tasked with probing terror incidents in the country.

Kerala CM Visits Slain CRPF Jawan's Family

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan visited the family of CRPF jawan VV Vasanth Kumar, who was killed in the Pulwama terror attack, in Wayanad district on Wednesday, 20 February, and assured them of all support from the government.

The chief minister spoke to Kumar's wife, Sheena, two children -- son Amandeep (5) and daughter Anamika (8) -- and mother, as reported by PTI.

Vijayan told the family that if Sheena was not interested in continuing working as an assistant at the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, she would be appointed as a sub-inspector in the police department.

The state government had announced on Tuesday that steps would be taken to make Sheena, who is at present a temporary employee, a permanent staff member at the university.

It had also announced a financial assistance of Rs 25 lakh for the grieving family -- Rs 15 lakh to the wife and Rs 10 lakh to the mother.

The state cabinet also took a decision to meet the educational expenses of Kumar's children and to construct a new house for the family.

Section of Political Parties, Groups Spreading Hatred: Mamata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday, 20 February, said a section of political parties and groups were indulging in rumour mongering and spreading hatred with their "dangerous statements".

"One section of political parties/groups along with people holding constitutional positions (are) indulging in rumour mongering, spreading hatred with dangerous statements," Banerjee said in a tweet.

"Even journalists not spared. This is shameless politics. What levels of polluted politics have we descended to?," she said.

Her statement comes a day after Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy supported a call for a boycott of "everything Kashmiri", including the Amarnath Yatra and purchasing products from the state.

Two Kashmiri Shawl Vendors Allegedly Beaten Up in Train

Two Kashmiri shawl vendors have claimed they were beaten up and called "stone pelters" by unidentified men on a train, forcing them to cut short their business trip to Rohtak, officials said Wednesday, 20 February.

The incident comes amid reports of some Kashmiri people claiming they were being targeted in many parts of the country in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack.

"Three Kashmiri shawl vendors boarded the general compartment of a local train from Sarai Rohilla station at around 10.40 am for a business trip to Sampla in Haryana. They claimed they were pushed into a corner and called 'stone pelters'," said Dinesh Gupta, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Railways).

"When they objected, the accused allegedly abused and slapped two Kashmiri vendors. The attackers said 'you hurl stones there (in Kashmir) and come to earning a livelihood here'. Other passengers also joined in and created a ruckus," the DCP (Railways) said.

Thereafter, the three Kashmiri men de-boarded at Nangloi station, leaving their bags containing shawls and suits worth around Rs 2 lakh in the train, Gupta added.

A case has been registered and the matter is being probed, he said.

Two NRI Entrepreneur Brothers in Dubai Pledge Rs One Crore Victims

Two Indian-origin entrepreneur brothers in Dubai have announced a financial support of Rs one crore to the families of 40 CRPF personnel killed in the Pulwama attack by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Sudhakar Rao and Prabhakar Rao of Dubai-based real estate firm Gemini Group have announced a contribution of AED 500,000 for the families of the martyred soldiers through the Government of India, according to a statement.

The brothers said they will dedicate a portion of their organisation's financial resources as a token of respect for the well-being of the bereaved families.

“The incident happened at a time when we are promoting tolerance, peace and harmony in the UAE - a country that is known to be an oasis of peace and stability in the world,” Sudhakar said, adding that “in this Year of Tolerance, let us pray for greater peace and harmony across the world and join hand to promote peace, so that no soldiers are attacked, no children become fatherless”.

Rahul, Priyanka Attend Prayer Meeting of Slain CRPF Jawan in UP

Congress president Rahul Gandhi and general secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday, 20 February, attended a prayer meeting of CRPF jawan Amit Kumar Kori, who was killed in the recent Pulwama terror attack, and paid tributes to the slain soldier.

Congress general secretary in-charge of western Uttar Pradesh Jyotiraditya Scindia was also present at the prayer meeting held in Shamli district.

"Congress President @RahulGandhi and General Secretary In charge UP East Smt. @priyankagandhi attend the prayer meeting of martyr Amit Kumar Kori and share their grief with the family," the party said in a tweet.

Rahul and Priyanka were seen consoling the members of the bereaved family.

Swaraj, Wang to Meet in China Amid Row over JeM Chief Azhar's Listing as Global Terrorist

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi would meet on the sidelines of next week's Russia-India-China Foreign Ministers' conference in China amid Beijing's continued blocking of India and other countries' moves to list Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN.

The meeting assumes significance as it will be the first high-level interaction between the two countries after the Pulwama terror attack carried out by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in which 40 CRPF soldiers were killed on 14 February.

China, while expressing shock over the incident, reiterated its stand to block moves to list Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN's 1267 Sanctions Committee.

Complicity of Pakistan in Pulwama Strike Underlined During India-Saudi Talks: MEA

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have condemned the Pulwama terror attack by JeM while "complicity" of Pakistan was underlined during the meeting between the two leaders, external affairs ministry officials said on Wednesday, 20 February.

Briefing reporters on the crown prince's visit and on the issues discussed during the talks, TS Tirumurti, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the MEA, said the two leaders also called upon countries to renounce use of terrorism as a state policy.

Complicity of Pakistan in the Pulwama attack was underlined during the talks, he said, adding both Modi and Salman condemned the Pulwama attack.

Earlier at a joint press event, Modi called the Pulwama attack a "cruel symbol" of the scourge of terrorism and sought punishment for the terrorists and their backers. The crown prince, however, did not mention the strike.

"Last week's barbaric Pulwama attack was a symbol of the shadow of the inhuman danger hovering over the world. To deal with the scourge, we have agreed that there was a need to ramp up pressure on countries extending any sort of support to terrorism," Modi said, without naming Pakistan.

J&K State Passing Through Most Difficult Phase: Farooq

National Conference (NC) chief Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday, 20 February, said Jammu and Kashmir was passing through the most difficult phase due to political instability and governance deficit, and the people were looking towards the party with hope.

The NC also announced former state chief secretary BR Kundal, who joined the party at a function on Wednesday, as its candidate for the Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha constituency.

"The state is passing through the most difficult phase due to political instability and governance deficit in recent years and therefore the people are looking towards us with hope," the National Conference president said.

He said the party would strive to assuage their political aspirations and instill a much needed sense of security.

Pak-Sponsored Terrorists Making Attempts to Disturb Peace in J&K: DGP

Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police Dilbag Singh on Wednesday, 20 February, said "Pakistan-sponsored terrorists" are trying to disrupt peace in the state and directed officers to put all resources to use to create a secure environment.

Referring to the 14 February terror attack in Pulwama the DGP said, "We must learn from the incident and be resilient in our approach." Singh was addressing a 'darbar' (meeting) of trainees during a visit to Sher-i Kashmir Police Academy in Udhampur district. He also interacted with the officers, besides reviewing different facilities being provided to the trainees.

"Pakistan-sponsored terrorists are making attempts to disrupt peace and order in the state, but like (in the) past, their attempts are bound to fail," the police chief said.

KEY EVENT

Not Opposed to Masood Azhar's Banning: Saudi

Any terrorist or anyone who supports and finances terrorism must be proscribed by the United Nations, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir said on Wednesday, 20 February, rejecting suggestions that Riyadh was opposed to India's efforts to get JeM chief Masood Azhar banned by the global body.

He also said the Pakistan-Saudi Arabia joint statement during the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to Islamabad on Monday, 18 February, calling for avoiding "politicisation" of the UN listing regime was not at all directed at India's efforts to list Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Azhar as a "global terrorist".

Afghan Peace Talks Would Be Affected if India Resort to Violence: Afghanistan

Afghanistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on the recent remark of Pakistan Ambassador to Afghanistan. The statement said, “Afghan Peace talks would be affected if India resorted to violence against Pakistan in response to the last week's attack in Kashmir.”

Security Forces Need to Reboot Systems to Deal With New Threats: CRPF DG

In an interview to ANI, CRPF DG RR Bhatnagar said that there is a sense of loss but the morale of the troops is very high.

“We are a professional battle-hardened force and our boys are taking the challenge and they will certainly be able to overcome it. We have had a glorious tradition of bravery and sacrifice and therefore we know that being at the forefront of the India’s internal security challenges, we shall certainly come up to the mark.”
CRPF DG RR Bhatnagar

Questioned about the need to send a big convoy such as the one that came under attack, he said, the convoys are routine and they keep taking place. “The size of the convoy is not relevant. We have been managing convoys for the last two years and have had a clean record. Our convoys, we have never suffered any losses at all.”

“This was a new kind of a threat that was there and also it was the fifth convoy from the front which was attacked, so the size of the convoy is a totally irrelevant issue.”

He said that while he was in Jammu and Kashmir after the attack, the CRPF has held consultations with the Army and the J&K Police and other agencies and all of them are working out a scheme that would minimise the threat.

“IEDs have started being used now, so we have to upgrade our IED capability and this is a new threat which is ‘fidayeen’, car-borne explosive laden vehicle. So, looking at these new threat we have to reboot and look at our systems afresh and work in close coordination with all the other agencies, set up a new security regime,” he added.

J&K Govt Withdraws Security of 18 Hurriyat Leaders

The government of Jammu and Kashmir has downgraded and withdrawn the security of 18 Hurriyat leaders in the state. Among the leaders whose security has been downgraded and withdrawn are Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Aga Syed Mosvi, Maulvi Abbas Ansari, Yaseen Malik, Saleem Geelani, Shahid ul Islam, Zaffar Akbar Bhat, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, Farooq Ahmed Kichloo, Masroor Abbas Ansari, Aga Syed Abul Hussain, Abdul Gani Shah and Mohd Musadiq Bhat.

PM Modi, Amit Shah Disrespecting Soldiers’ Sacrifice: Cong on Pulwama

In a press conference, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala attacked the Prime Minister and BJP President for “politicising the terror attacks”.

Surjewala criticised PM Modi for reportedly shooting a “propaganda and publicity” documentary during and right after the attack.

The disrespect of the soldiers’ sacrifice that PM Modi has shown after Pulwama has never been seen before, he said..

“PM Modi even gave a presser on the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, dissing the Congress. They were appealing for votes by politicising terror. When the soldiers were fighting terrorists, BJP were busy printing ads,” he said.

Perpetrators of Terror Acts Must be Brought Swiftly to Justice: UN Chief

UN chief Antonio Guterres has said it is essential that there must be accountability under international law and the perpetrators of terrorist acts be brought swiftly to justice, as he reiterated his strong condemnation of the Pulwama terror strike by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed, PTI reported.

The UN Secretary-General also "urgently" appealed to the governments of both India and Pakistan to exercise "maximum restraint" to ensure the situation does not further deteriorate.

MHA Approves Air Travel For Central Armed Police Forces In Kashmir

The Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday, 21 February, approved air travel for all personnel of Central Armed Paramilitary Forces, including CRPF, on Delhi-Srinagar, Srinagar-Delhi, Jammu-Srinagar and Srinagar-Jammu sectors.

The decision will immediately benefit approximately 780,000 personnel of CAPFs in the ranks of Constable, Head Constable & ASI who were otherwise not eligible earlier, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said.

“This includes journey on duty and journey on leave, that is, while going on leave from J&K to home and return,” he added, on Twitter.

A copy of the MHA order approving air travel for all CAPF personnel in Kashmir.
A copy of the MHA order approving air travel for all CAPF personnel in Kashmir.
(Photo: The Quint)

The Quint had reported recently that the CRPF convoy that was attacked in Pulwama had asked the government for air transit, a demand that was ignored.

Also Read : Pulwama: CRPF Wanted Air Transit For Attacked Convoy, Was Ignored

Congress' Statement on Pulwama Similar to Pak’s Response: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday, 21 February, addressed media on Pulwama attack and said that what the Conrgess party spoke today bears resemblance to Pakistan’s Prime Minister response.

“The style may be different, but the content of what the Prime Minister of Pakistan spoke and the what the Congress party spoke today bears a striking resemblance.”

Prasad, taking a dig at Congress, said “Rahul Gandhi for an evidence of the surgical strikes but does not ask for any evidence when man of a questionable character in London in the presence of Kapil Sibal questions India's elections. What can we expect from them?”

He also replied to Congress questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Jhansi. “For the sake of terrorists game plan, India won't stop and India should not stop. This is the difference between our thought process.” The union minister also asked the Congress party to not “weaken India’s resolve”.

'Withdrawal of Security to Separatists a Step Towards Nailing Anti-National Elements', Says J&K's BJP

The BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir unit on Thursday, 21 February, welcomed the state administration's decision to withdraw security cover of separatist leaders in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, and said it is a step towards "nailing anti-national elements" in the state, PTI reported.

“We welcome the administration's decision to withdraw security cover of separatists. Security withdrawal is a step towards nailing anti-national elements. Those who favour Pakistan need to be taught a lesson,” said state BJP chief Ravinder Raina.

Imran Khan Holds NSC Meeting Amidst Heightened Indo-Pak Tensions

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday chaired a key meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) during which the country's security situation was discussed, amidst heightened tensions between India and Pakistan, PTI reported.

Ahead of the NSC meeting, Prime Minister Khan and Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa held a one-on-one meeting during which they discussed the region's security situation, Geo TV reported, citing sources.

Later during the NSC meeting, the Pulwama attack and situation arising out of it were discussed, the channel said, quoting sources.

India to to Stop Its Share of Water Flowing to Pakistan

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday announced that the government has decided to hold India's share of water flowing to Pakistan. Rather, the water from the Eastern rivers will be diverted to the people in Jammu and Kashmir, and Punjab, he said in a tweet.

Gadkari’s tweet comes a week after at least 40 CRPF personnel were killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama terror attack which was claimed by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). However, the project’s implementation was already approved in December 2018.

“The construction of dam has started at Shahpur-Kandi on Ravi river. Moreover, UJH project will store our share of water for use in J&K and the balance water will flow from 2nd Ravi-BEAS Link to provide water to other basin states,” he said.

Imran Khan Asks Pak Military to 'Respond Decisively' to Any Indian 'Aggression'

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan authorised the military to "respond decisively and comprehensively to any aggression or misadventure" by India, amidst heightened tensions between the two sides following the Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 CRPF soldiers.

Prime Minister Khan, who chaired a key meeting of the National Security Council said the Pakistan government was "determined to demonstrate" that it is capable of protecting its people.

He authorised the armed forces of Pakistan to "respond decisively and comprehensively to any aggression or misadventure by India," said a statement issued after the meeting.

"This is a new Pakistan and we are determined to demonstrate to our people that the State is capable of protecting them," Khan was quoted as saying by the Radio Pakistan.

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