Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday led the nation in paying tribute to the 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel killed in a terror attack in Pulwama a year ago and said India will never forget their martyrdom.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, ministers Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani and Hardeep Puri as well as Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal were among those who remembered those killed when a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel was attacked on February 14 last year.
Modi said the slain security personnel were "exceptional individuals" who devoted their lives to serving and protecting the nation.
"Tributes to the brave martyrs who lost their lives in the gruesome Pulwama attack last year. They were exceptional individuals who devoted their lives to serving and protecting our nation. India will never forget their martyrdom," Modi tweeted.
A year ago, Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist Adeel Ahmed Dar, driving an explosive-laden car, blew himself next to a convoy of security vehicles on the Jammu-Srinagar highway at Lethpora in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama, killing 40 Central Reserve Police Force troopers.
A memorial will be inaugurated at the Lethpora camp on Friday, a top official said. The names of all the 40 personnel along with their pictures will be part of the memorial along with the CRPF motto ‘Seva and Nishtha' (Service and Loyalty).
Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Mohammed Salim demanded justice and asked how 80 kg of RDX had crossed the international border.
"We don't need a memorial to remind us of our incompetence. The only thing we need to know is how 80kg of RDX got past the international borders to the 'most militarised zone on earth' & exploded in Pulwama. Justice for Pulwama Attack needs to be done," Salim said on Twitter.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the country was united in its fight against terrorism.
"Remembering the fallen @crpfindia personnel who were martyred during the dastardly attack in Pulwama(J&K) on this day in 2019. India will never forget their sacrifice. Entire nation stands united against terrorism and we are committed to continue our fight against this menace," he said.
Union minister Smriti Irani, said she salutes the "brave sons of mother India".
"On the first anniversary of the dastardly Pulwama terror attack, I join the nation in paying homage to the sacrifice of our soldiers," said her colleague Hardeep Puri.
AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal called the personnel martyrs and offered them his "heartfelt homage".
Bharatiya Janata Party president J P Nadda also hailed the sacrifice of the CRPF personnel.
"India will always remember their martyrdom. We should all unite to completely end terrorism from its very roots," he said on Twitter.