Pulwama terror attack: Communal violence in Jammu, Poonch
Grief, anger unites families across nation
Jammu, Feb. 15 (IANS/PTI): Shops, vehicles and other property belonging to a particular community came under attack in Poonch and Jammu, forcing authorities to clamp curfew in Jammu, during a shutdown to denounce a suicide bombing that killed 49 CRPF troopers in the Kashmir Valley.
Authorities first imposed curfew and sought the Army’s help to restore order in the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir where scores of youths protesting against the suicide attack torched some vehicles and smashed many more believed to be from the Valley
Jammu District Magistrate Ramesh Kumar said curfew had been imposed in the entire Jammu city to maintain peace.
Police used tear smoke and batons to disperse the mobs. The curfew was imposed initially in Jammu’s Gujjar Nagar, Talab Khatikan, Janipur, Bakshi Nagar, Chenni Heemat, Bus Stand and some other places in old city area and later extended to the entire city.
Violence also erupted in Poonch district, where too shops and vehicles belonging to a particular community were attacked in Aala Peer area, forcing police to use tear smoke and batons.
“People are advised to maintain calm and not play into the hands of anti-social elements who want to exploit the situation for their nefarious objectives,” a police officer said.
One of the 49 CRPF soldiers killed in Thursday’s suicide bombing in Pulwama was identified as Naseer Ahmad of Rajouri district in the state.
The Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), an influential body of traders and industrialists, had earlier called a shutdown in Jammu city against the terror strike in the Valley’s Pulwama district on Thursday on a CRPF convoy.
Rakesh Gupta, President of JCCI, an influential body of local traders and industrialists, told IANS: “I appeal to the people belonging to different sections of the society to maintain the traditional harmony and brotherhood for which Jammu has been known ever since the fires of violence spread in the (Kashmir) Valley.”
Meanwhile, Harpur in Uttar Pradesh to Gudigere in Karnataka, many villages across the country that send out young men to the armed forces were joined in grief on Friday, a day after the suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Kashmir.
At many places, grief combined with anger over Thursday’s terror strike that killed 40 jawans.
“No doubt we are proud that my son gave his life for the motherland but the government should take tough steps against the attackers, Pankaj Tripathi’s father Om Prakash Tripathi said in Harpur in UP’s Maharajganj district.
The time for talking is up, it’s time to take revenge, he said.
On the streets, villagers shouted slogans, calling for revenge. Badla lo, badla lo, Pakistan se badla lo, they chanted.
Tempers also ran high in Deoria’s Jaidev Chapia, the native village of 30-year-old Vijay Kumar Maurya.
He left for Jammu only on February 9, after spending time in the UP village with his family which includes a one and half year old child.
“I am proud that my son gave his life for the nation but the government should give a befitting reply to Pakistan as soon as possible, his father Ramayan Maurya said.
The action should be so strong that Pakistan dare not enter our territory and kill our soldiers ever again, he said.
Home minister among pallbearers as force pays tributes to slain CRPF jawans
With the bugler playing the ‘last post’, Home Minister Rajnath Singh turned a pallbearer on Friday as the bodies of 40 paramilitary personnel killed in an audacious terror strike in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district were sent on their last journey home.
Singh, accompanied by a high-level team comprising officials from the CRPF, NIA and Home Ministry, arrived on Friday afternoon and drove to the adjacent CRPF campus where a wreath laying ceremony was held for the slain jawans.
As the bugler played the ‘last post’ and guard called for ‘shok salami shastra’ (reversing of arms in honour of fallen soldiers), a two-minute silence was observed after which the Union home minister gave a shoulder to the coffin of a jawan which was being taken to his native place in a special aircraft.
“The nation will not forget the supreme sacrifice of our brave CRPF jawans. I have paid my last respects to the martyrs of Pulwama. The sacrifice will not go in vain,” Singh said.
The dignitaries stood in silence till the coffins were loaded in a truck which went to the Srinagar airport, the official said.
India revokes MFN status to Pakistan after Pulwama attack
Following the Pulwama terror attack, India on Friday withdrew the ‘most-favoured nation’ status to Pakistan, a move which would impact USD 488.5 million worth of goods that the neighbouring country exports to India.
After the withdrawal of most-favoured nation (MFN) status, India can raise customs duties on several goods being imported from Pakistan.
The main items which India imports include fresh fruits, cement, petroleum products, bulk minerals and ores and finished leather.
In a media briefing after the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the most-favoured nation (MFN) status to Pakistan stands revoked.
India granted the MFN status to Pakistan way back in in 1996, but the neighbouring country had not yet reciprocated.
The MFN status was accorded under World Trade Organization’s (WTO) General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Both India and Pakistan are signatories to this; and are members of the WTO.
Under the MFN pact, a WTO member country is obliged to treat the other trading nation in a non-discriminatory manner, especially with regard to customs duty and other levies.
Removal of this status means India can now enhance customs duties to any level on goods coming from Pakistan.