Pulwama is  India’ biggest terrorist attack in a decade. A memory that is seared in every Indian’s heart. India’s security agencies cracked the case but it wasn’t easy. How does the investigation get its first break? 

  1. A car containing 200 kgs of explosives rammed into a convoy of military vehicles, resulting in 44 CRPF deaths. 

  2. The NIA gets involved

As anger and sadness spread through the country in the attack’s aftermath, the case was quickly handed over to the National Investigation Agency, which was said to take the best of the IPS in the country to help resolve controversial cases. The Pulwama case was given to Rakesh Balwal, the then J&K NIA head. 

3. ‘Poora hai ya aadha?’

Central Forensic Science Laboratory teams, the NIA’s bomb experts picked up samples from the site of the attack. Different parts of the bodies were strewn across and when it was sent across to families for last rites, depressing questions were asked. ‘Poora hai ya aadha?’, an officer who was supposed to receive a body asked. He was advised not to open the box.

4. Tracking down the origin

Parts of the engine and chassis of the car were found but it yielded no information. However, a team from Maruti arrived to investigate further and revealed that it was an Eeco car mode that was produced in 2011. Once the engine number and chassis number was tracked down, the NIA found the dealer in Kashmir, Peaks Auto Private Limited. 

5. Key to it all

Balwal decided to expand the area of search. 100 NIA and 400 CRPF personnel descended upon Hajibal scouring the area for leads. As danger mounted, Balwal was being requested to give up and move back and areas like Hajibal were susceptible to militancy. That is when he spotted something shiny in the Kashmir cold – a key with the number ‘1026’ engraved.

Who did the key belong to? Was he a local or a foreigner? Most importantly, was he working alone, or were invisible forces at work?

Find out more about who was the real mastermind behind the Pulwama attack on 6th July, as we answer the question of the day!


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