‘We are also at fault’: Gov admits intelligence failure over Pulwama attack

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik admitted that the intelligence failure was one of the reasons that killed over 40 CRPF personnel in the worst-ever terror attack that took place in Pulwama.

“We cannot accept that (intelligence failure). We could not detect or check the vehicle full of explosives moving on the highway. We must accept that we are at fault also,” the governor told Indian Express.

Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was caused by a suicide bomber, according to a local news agency.

“The fact that we did not know that there was a Fidayeen among them is also part of the intelligence failure. I can admit that. This man (the bomber identified as Adil Ahmad Dar) was very much on our list of suspects. But due to the pressure they were under, no one was giving them shelter in their homes. So he must have escaped to the jungles or the hills and got lost. We knew about him but could not trace him,” Malik was quoted as saying.

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Malik told NDTV that the administration had received inputs on a possible attack.

“There was no intelligence failure because we had received inputs (of a possible attack). But there was surely some kind of negligence. If the terrorists could bring such a big vehicle without being checked, it had to be because of failure on our part,” he told NDTV.

In the deadliest terror attack on security forces in Kashmir, around 40 CRPF personnel were killed on Thursday when their convoy was targeted in Pulwama district on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.

The convoy comprised 78 buses in which around 2500 personnel were travelling from Jammu to Srinagar.

A bus, in which 42 CRPF personnel were travelling, was extensively damaged in the blast which was followed by firing on the vehicle.

With agency inputs