In the deadliest attack on security forces in recent years, eight CRPF personnel were yesterday killed and 21 others critically wounded when terrorists rained bullets on a bus carrying them at Pampore near Srinagar, in what appeared to be a Fidayeen attack carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba.

"The incident is very unfortunate... We condemn such ghastly attack by terrorists and we pay homage to the departed martyrs and send our condolences to the bereaved family members," Rijiju told reporters here.

"The CRPF team, they were returning from the firing range to the headquarters when they were attacked near Jhelum river. It was a tragic incident where eight of our jawans lost their lives," he said.

"The situation is challenging...people who believe in extremism, they are very desperate because we have got a very dynamic Prime Minister and India is progressing very well and so they are doing everything to scuttle the efforts of the government to taking India to new level of prosperity," the Union minister said.

"There are desperate attempts to create problems for the country...these are desperate attempts...but, we are committed and necessary action and response will be taken up...let the officers come back from the spot after they review the entire situation," he said.

"There may be claims by groups (taking responsibility for the attack), but we have to make complete official assessment of the situation. Our DG CRPF has been asked to go there and other senior officers have rushed to Srinagar," he said.
On reports about statement given by Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit on the incident, Rijiju said, "He has a habit of giving such statements and the whole world is watching. I don't want to make political statements...I think the Ministry of External Affairs and PMO may react to it."

Reacting to another query, the minister said, "The efforts to infiltrate along the LoC in the western side has come down. The attempts have increased but the level of success has drastically come down and that is why this kind of desperate attempts are being made, and they may try to increase the level, but infiltration itself has come down."

On the Pathankot incident, he said, "We are waiting for the date which Pakistan has to give and as and when the date comes our people -- NIA team is ready."


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