Awantipora suicide attack death toll rises to 44, CCS meet today; Rajnath Singh to reach Srinagar

At least 44 CRPF troopers were killed in one of the worst suicide attacks in J&K's Awantipora on Thursday.

Awantipora suicide attack death toll rises to 44, CCS meet today; Rajnath Singh to reach Srinagar

NEW DELHI: The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) will meet on Friday to discuss the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of one of the worst suicide attacks on the CRPF convoy which killed at least 44 troopers and left the security establishment stunned.

According to reports, the CCS meeting is likely to take place at 9:15 AM, the sources said.

The CCS is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister, Home Minister, External Affairs Minister and Finance Minister are its members.

In the worst-ever suicide attack in Jammu and Kashmir since terrorism erupted in 1989, a suicide bomber on Thursday rammed his SUV packed with explosives into a CRPF bus on the Srinagar-Jammu highway in Pulwama district, killing at least 44 troopers.

The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) has claimed responsibility for the horror and released a video clip of the suicide bomber, a `commander` identified as Adil Ahmad Dar, which it claimed was shot before the young man carried out the strike in Lethpora, about 30 km from Srinagar.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will also arrive in Srinagar to take stock of the security situation in the wake of the deadliest terrorist attack in J&K.

Singh on Thursday assured the people of the country that the terror attack on a CRPF bus in Jammu and Kashmir, carried out by Pakistan-sponsored Jaish-e-Mohammed, will be avenged.

In a statement, he said the central government is determined to foil the designs of those who want to disrupt peace through such a terror attack "sponsored and sheltered by Pakistan".

"Jaish-e-Mohammed has carried out this terror attack. We assure the country that we will undertake whatever it takes to avenge this," he said.

He will also hold review meetings with senior security and police officials to make the ground-level assessment and review further operational actions.

Singh has cancelled all his political engagements in Bihar for Friday.

He called up Governor Satya Pal Malik, who apprised him about the prevailing situation in the state. 

Singh also spoke to National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Director of Intelligence Bureau Rajiv Jain and Director General of CRPF R R Bhatnagar and gave them necessary instructions, a Home Ministry official said.

In a tweet, Singh said, "Today's dastardly attack on CRPF in Pulwama (J&K) is extremely painful and disturbing. I bow to each and every CRPF jawan who has sacrificed his life in service to the nation. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured."

The Home Ministry is also closely monitoring the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, which is currently under the President's rule.