After Pulwama attack, Govt allows security forces deployed in Kashmir to travel by air
New Delhi, Feb 21: Days after Pulwama terror attack which claimed 40 lives of CRPF jawans, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday approved the entitlement of air travel on Delhi-Srinagar, Srinagar-Delhi, Jammu-Srinagar and Srinagar-Jammu sectors to all the personnel of Central Armed Paramilitary Forces.
Jawans of the CRPF and other paramilitary forces deployed in the Kashmir Valley will now be able to take a commercial flight to join duty or while going on leave as the government issued authorisation orders.
The MHA said that the decision will immediately benefit approximately 780,000 personnel of CAPFs in the ranks of Constable, Head Constable & ASI who were otherwise not eligible earlier. This includes journey on duty and journey on leave, i.e; while going on leave from J&K to home and return.
"This facility is in addition to the existing air courier services for CAPFs that have been steadily extended in all sectors by the MHA to help the jawans cut down on travel time during their journey to and fro from home on leave," MHA has added in a tweet.
It also said,''In J&K Sector, it may be recalled that Air Courier Service for CAPFs jawans was approved for the Jammu-Srinagar-Jammu sector. Subsequently, the Service was extended to cover 1) Delhi-Jammu, 2) Jammu-Srinagar, 3) Srinagar-Jammu and 3) Jammu-Delhi sector in Dec 2017. The number of flights were further extended in Dec 2018. In addition, air support is provided from Indian Air Force as and when required.''
A senior official said jawans and sub-officers, the ranks who were killed in the February 14 suicide attack in Pulwama in J-K, will now be able to book tickets in commercial flights and claim reimbursement from their organisation or force.
It may be recalled that about 2,500 jawans had returned to Jammu from leave and were waiting to be ferried to Srinagar, but couldn't as the highway had been blocked for nearly a week. As the queue of waiting personnel had been getting longer, nearly 78 vehicles started out from Channi Rama transit camp in Jammu for the Valley on Thursday when the terror strike took place.
On February 14, at least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were killed and more than 20 others injured in a blast in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursda. The blast was triggered by militants to target two vehicles carrying the CRPF jawans.