SRINAGAR: The deadly suicide bombing in Pulwama, which killed 40 CRPF personnel, has raised serious questions on whether the forces and the local intelligence agencies can effectively deal with the threat of militancy in the Valley.
"How is it that nobody saw it coming? It's evident that the terrorists executed the attack after meticulous planning. The plan wasn't fleshed out overnight. It's also likely that they carried out dry runs. It would have taken them months to arrange the vehicle rigged with explosives that was used for the bombing," a retired police officer said.
He said it's also likely that the vehicle was prepared for the attack by an IED expert and not an ordinary militant.
"Since all top homegrown militant commanders, some of whom were IED experts, were killed by the forces over the last two years, it seems that the Pulwama attack was the handiwork of Pakistani terrorists, who might have sneaked into the Valley for this very task," the official added.
Another big question is how the security and intelligence agencies failed to get information about the militants planning a suicide attack despite having assets on the ground.
The official said now that it has been established that RDX was used in the bombing, it needs to be investigated from where the explosive material was procured.
"Did it (RDX) come from across the Line of Control (LoC) or outside the state? In either case, our security and intelligence officials have a lot to answer. How did they not detect the smuggling of explosives into Kashmir," he said.
Another official said that the attack was perhaps the result of complacency in the security establishment. "Due to a string of successful operations against the militants, an element of complacency might well have crept into our security and intelligence agencies. They possibly lowered their guard and failed to detect the planning for this attack," he said.
The bigger question, he said, is how the militants managed to smuggle such a huge quantity of RDX into the Valley.
"It's being said that the bomber joined the CRPF convoy from a link road, about half-a-kilometre from the spot where the attack took place. Why didn't the Road Opening Parties (ROPs) stop the attacker? They should have stopped the vehicle instead of letting it run parallel and eventually overtake the other vehicles in the convoy," the official said.