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New book pieces together Pulwama attack conspiracy, details challenges of Kashmir militancy

Published by HarperCollins, ‘As Far as the Saffron Fields: The Pulwama Conspiracy’, by Danesh Rana will be released on 11 March on ThePrint’s SoftCover.

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New Delhi: A new book written by Danesh Rana, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the Jammu and Kashmir cadre, talks about the existing challenges of militancy in Kashmir and the planning of the Pulwama attack.

Published by HarperCollins India, the book titled ‘As Far as the Saffron Fields: The Pulwama Conspiracy’ will be released on 11 March on Softcover, ThePrint’s online venue to launch select nonfiction books.

Introducing the book as “an account that would negate many narratives build around the deadly Pulwama attack”, Rana highlights the “involvement of proscribed outfits sponsored by Pakistan and their role in creating an eco-system for terrorism to flourish”.

In March 2019, two militants were killed during a siege at a house in Nowgam, on the outskirts of Srinagar. One of them was known as ‘Idrees Bhai’.

The encounter was forgotten for the most part, until investigators stumbled upon a mangled phone that had been destroyed by Idrees Bhai. When the Samsung smartphone began to reveal its secrets, investigators realised they had hit upon a mother lode.

Idrees Bhai was none other than Umar Farooq Alvi, the mastermind of the Pulwama attack of February 2019 — the deadliest terror attack on Indian security forces since 1989, which resulted in the death of 40 CRPF personnel.

Based upon personal interviews with the protagonists, police charge sheets and other empirical evidence, Rana’s book pieces together the conspiracy behind the Pulwama attack.

The author breaks down the modern face of militancy in Kashmir, fueled by highly radicalised young Kashmiris. From ‘Umar’, the boy-wonder insurgent, to the love of his life ‘Insha’, from Adil Dar, the man who rammed a van of explosives into the CRPF bus, to the head constable Jaimal Singh, the driver of the ill-fated bus, the book is interwoven with fragments of multiple characters.

‘As Far as the Saffron Fields’ is one of the most definitive books on the Pulwama attack, unveiling militancy that tears families apart.

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