Srinagar: The Central Reserved Police Force (CRPF) Friday paid homage and dedicated a martyrs column to the memory of the 40 personnel who were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Kashmir’s Pulwama region on 14 February last year.
The bombing was carried out by local Kashmiri militant Adil Dar who belonged to the Jaish-e-Mohammad. Dar had driven an IED-laden vehicle and triggered it near the convoy that was on the national highway in Pulwama’s Lethpora area.
On the first anniversary of the attacks, the paramilitary force held an official ceremony in memory of those killed, at the Lethpora training camp that is around two kilometres from the blast site.
The event was presided over by the Special Director General, CRPF, Zulfikhar Hasan, and was attended by senior officials of the Indian Army and the J&K Police, including the Inspector General of Kashmir range, Vijay Kumar.
“To the families of the jawans who laid their lives, I want to say that not only the CRPF but the entire country is with you and shares your grief,” Hasan said.
Soil from killed troopers’ homes brought to memorial
The CRPF inaugurated the martyrs column built inside the camp and held two minutes of silence for those killed. The inauguration ceremony also saw in attendance Gopinath Jadhav, a native of Maharashtra’s Aurangabad region.
Jadhav, a singer, is currently staying in Bengaluru and travelled to 16 states to collect soil from homes of each of the 40 slain personnel.
On the occasion, Jadhav handed over the urn filled with the collected soil to Hasan who, in turn, handed it over to Zile Singh, a CRPF trooper awarded the Shaurya Chakra for his role in thwarting a fidayeen assault at the very camp where Friday’s function was held.
“Everyone offered tributes to the fallen soldiers on Twitter and TikTok but I wanted to do something different. I wanted to meet the families of the jawans killed in the attack,” Jadhav said. “So I traveled all around to meet them and collected soil in a kalash (urn). Today I have come here to give it as my homage to the CRPF jawans,” he added.
“Our eyes are moist today. The incident that happened a year ago had prompted all of our country to stand as one and today we have established this memorial to remember the day,” said CRPF assistant commandant Zile Singh.
He said he felt blessed that he got the opportunity to offer as tribute the soil brought in from different parts of the country.