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Pulwama retribution: India uses IAF for first time after 1971 to strike JeM terror camp

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Pulwama retribution: India uses IAF for first time after 1971 to strike JeM terror camp

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]India carried out a “non-military, preemptive action” against a major terror camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Balakot, Ministry of External Affairs secretary Vijay Gokhale said on Tuesday.

At a packed press briefing in New Delhi, Gokhale said intelligence reports confirmed that the JeM was preparing to follow up the Pulwama terror attack with a wave of suicide attacks in various parts of the country. “Credible intelligence was received that JeM was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country, and the fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose. In the face of imminent danger, a preemptive strike became absolutely necessary,” he said.

In an intelligence-led operation that began in the early hours today, Gokhale said, a large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated. The camp was run by Maulana Yousuf Azhar, the brother-in-law of JeM chief Masood Azhar.

“The Government of India is firmly and resolutely committed to taking all necessary measures to fight the menace of terrorism. Hence this non-military pre-emptive action was specifically targeted at the JeM camp. The selection of the target was also conditioned by our desire to avoid civilian casualties,” Gokhale added.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan Army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor claimed Indian aircraft “intruded from Muzaffarabad sector” and “dropped a payload” near Balakot “facing timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force”.

Also Read: Pulwama retribution: Indian Air Force pulverises Jaish camp in pre-dawn strike

ANI reports, quoting sources in the Indian Air Force, said at 0330 hours on February 26, a squadron of Mirage 2000 Indian Fighter jets struck a major terrorist camp across the LoC and completely destroyed it. The IAF source further told ANI that 1000-kg bombs were dropped. ANI said 12 Mirage 2000 jets took part in the operation.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1551177615431{border-top-width: 10px !important;border-right-width: 10px !important;border-bottom-width: 10px !important;border-left-width: 10px !important;padding-top: 10px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 10px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;background-color: #e0e0e0 !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}”]The pre-dawn air strikes by the Indian Air Force (IAF) Mirage fighter jets was on a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) training camp located in Balakot inside Pakistan and not the one in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), reported The Hindu quoting a senior IAF source.

“The terror launch pads along the LoC were moved deep inside after the Pulwama attack. The training camp in Balakot was deep inside. It’s in proper Pakistan itself, close to Abbottabad infamous because of Osama bin Laden,” the source said on condition of anonymity.

Balakot, about 40-50 kms from LoC, is situated in Mansehra district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, about two hours’ drive from Abbottabad.

Another source said the initial Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) is that the hit was 100% and all aircraft returned safely. Further details from the assessment are awaited.

IAF’s Central Air Command led the air strikes. The indigenous Netra early warning aircraft was in the air monitoring the operation and IAF mid-air refueller was also dispatched and ready.

Ahead of the strikes, the Army was put on high alert along the LoC. A senior officer posted along the LoC said they were on high alert in anticipation of retaliatory firing by Pakistan army. “We were told to hold fire as there was movement of jets overhead and they were our own,” he said on the air strike as IAF jets crossed the LoC.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The strike comes just days after 40 CRPF personnel were killed when a Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a bus carrying paramilitary forces in Jammu Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Pakistan-based terror outfit JeM, led by Masood Azhar, had claimed responsibility for the attack.

This was the first time Indian Air Force has been used in Pakistan-controlled air space after the 1971 war. During the 1999 Kargil conflict, the Vajpayee government had decided to restrict the use of IAF to India’s own side of Line of Control (LoC). IAF had used Mirage 2000 to fire laser-guided bombs, fixed hastily when the Kargil conflict was on, to target Pakistani posts on the mountains of Kargil.

The capability to fix and hit the target, both during day and night and even in cloudy weather, was demonstrated by the IAF in Exercise Vayu Shakti earlier this month in Jaisalmer, said a report in The India Express (IE). The firepower demonstration had showcased capabilities which were way beyond those used during the Kargil War.

The JeM is proscribed by the UN and has been responsible of a series of terrorist attacks including on the Indian Parliament in December 2001 and the Pathankot airbase in January 2016.

Information regarding the location of training camps in Pakistan and PoJK has been provided to Pakistan from time to time. Pakistan, however, denies their existence. The existence of such massive training facilities capable of training hundreds of jihadis could not have functioned without the knowledge of Pakistan authorities.

Also Read: Pakistan violates ceasefire in Rajouri district, Indian forces retaliate

India has been repeatedly urging Pakistan to take action against the JeM to prevent jihadis from being trained and armed inside Pakistan. Pakistan has taken no concrete actions to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism on its soil.

Gokhale said: “The Government of Pakistan had made a solemn commitment in January 2004 not to allow its soil or territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India. We expect that Pakistan lives up to its public commitment and takes follow up actions to dismantle all JeM and other camps and hold the terrorists accountable for the actions.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Rameshwaram Cafe blast: Karnataka Home Minister reveals how police inputs helped NIA arrest accused

The blast at the cafe occurred during lunch hour on March 1 at around 1 pm, which left 10 people injured

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Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara said on Saturday that inquiry teams were attempting to determine whether the two suspects in the Rameshwaram cafe blast who were detained by the NIA had any connections to other terrorist groups. He also praised the state police for their contributions, some of which resulted in their arrest. Meanwhile, the suspects have been placed in 10-day police custody on remand.

The Karnataka police and the NIA have both performed incredibly well. In the beginning, they obtained all of the CCTV footage and monitored one of the accused, which helped in their arrest, he said.

The minister disclosed how the NIA was able to arrest the accused, which was possible because of a tip from the police.

He said the police shared very good inputs with the NIA, like the cap the accused was wearing, which was purchased from Chennai, and the telephone number he had given in the shop.

According to G Parameshwara, the services were also looking for connections between them and other crimes related to terrorism. He said that they might be attempting to flee from West Bengal to Bangladesh, where they were apprehended by the NIA.

He said the team is investigating the real motive behind the blast and their involvement with other terror outfits (ISIS), as these two (accused) are supposed to be involved in the earlier Shivamogga blast and kept running for three to four days ahead of getting arrested in this case, Parameshwara stated.

Since they were apprehended in West Bengal, a state that shares a border with Bangladesh, it’s possible that they wanted to leave the country. However, currently, they don’t have any precise information on this. He continued, They will discover in due course if there is someone assisting from that side (Bangladesh).

Meanwhile, the blast at the cafe occurred during lunch hour on March 1 at around 1 pm, which left 10 people injured. On March 3, the NIA took over the case from the police and announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for any information regarding the two accused.

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PM Modi, President Murmu pay tribute to Jallianwala Bagh massacre victims

On the anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre PM Modi, President Murmu paid tribute to those who were killed in the incident.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today paid tribute to the victims of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. In Punjab’s Amritsar on April 13, 1919, hundreds of nonviolent protestors were shot at random by British forces.

Taking to social media X, formerly Twitter, PM Modi said, on behalf of the entire country, he pays his deepest respects to all the brave martyrs of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

President Droupadi Murmu also paid respects to those who gave their lives in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre for the sake of the country as she said that their martyrdom will continue to inspire future generations. 

The President said on X, she pays tribute  to all the freedom fighters at Jallianwala Bagh who gave their all for the country. The people of this country will always be grateful to all the wonderful people who gave their life in support of Swaraj, she added. The president wrote in Hindi on X that she is confident that the spirit of patriotism of those martyrs will always inspire the coming generations.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, said, Jallianwala Bagh is a living symbol of the cruelty and inhumanity of the British rule

Tribute to the valiant martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh who made an invaluable contribution to the country’s freedom movement, he wrote on X in Hindi.

Shah continued saying, a living example of the brutality and inhumanity of British rule is Jallianwala Bagh. This massacre ignited the revolutionary fire that had been dormant in the hearts of the people, turning the independence movement into a popular battle. He said, the lives of the dignified people of Jallianwala Bagh serve as a constant source of inspiration for selflessness and devotion to the country first.

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh expressed gratitude for the martyrs’ extraordinary bravery and selflessness.

He wrote on X, remembering the martyrs who were killed on this day in 1919 in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar. I honor their extraordinary bravery and selflessness. He also said their sacrifice will never be forgotten.

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Tejashwi Yadav releases RJD’s manifesto, promises airports in 5 Bihar cities

Tejashwi Yadav said his party is making 24 promises to the people of the nation and Bihar.

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Former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav unveiled the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Lok Sabha election manifesto on Saturday morning, pledging the construction of five new airports in the state. Along with releasing Parivartan Patra, the political heir and son of RJD founder Lalu Yadav pledged Rs1 lakh annually to sisters from low-income families on Raksha Bandhan.

In the presence of senior RJD leaders, Tejashwi Yadav unveiled the document and said that his party had committed 24 commitments to both the national and Bihar citizen.

He said, they have released Parivartan Patra available. Twenty-four jan vachan (public promises) have been brought up for 2024. These 24 jan vachan are our promises, which we will keep, the speaker said.

Tejashwi Yadav said that his party will see to it that five new airports are built in Bihar to improve connectivity, should the INDIA bloc secure a majority at the Centre.

For better connectivity in Bihar, they are going to build 5 new airports in the state, in Purnea, Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj and Raxaul, he said. Yadav also pledged to give Bihar special status. They will implement OPS (Old Pension Scheme) and we will provide special status to Bihar, he said. The former deputy CM promised to eradicate unemployment in the nation.

People will begin to be released from unemployment on August 15th. The process of providing jobs will begin on August 15th, if their government is elected, he stated.

Every year on Raksha Bandhan, they will provide their sisters who live in poor families with Rs 1 lakh. Gas cylinders would be available for Rs 500, he continued.

The RJD leader assured young people all over the nation of one crore jobs.

He further said, One crore youth across the country will receive government jobs if our INDIA alliance is elected to power. Our greatest opponent right now is unemployment, yet the BJP did not discuss this. Although they had pledged to provide 2 crore jobs, we carry out our word, he said.

On April 19, voting will start for the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections. On June 4, there will be a counting.


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