- CRPF attack survivor Jasvinder Pal had helped recover several bodies
- Debris and human remains were spread across a 1 km radius
- After the attack, the entire convoy was stuck for more than three hours
Three days after losing 40 colleagues in a terror attack in Pulwama, many of the survivors of the CRPF convoy attended a routine meeting to be drilled for the job they do - saving lives. But for them, the trauma is far from over.
"The body parts were flung 500 to 600 meters away," recalled Jasvinder Pal, who had helped recover several of the bodies. In the wreckage somewhere, was his friend Maninder Singh, he said, barely able to get the words out.
Constable Maninder Singh was in the bus hit by a suicide bomber of Jaish-e-Mohammed on Thursday afternoon. He died, along with 37 others in the bus, and two others patrolling the road.
The 78-vehicle convoy had started from Jammu at dawn. But just 30 km outside Srinagar, the explosive-laden vehicle had stuck one of the buses, setting off a blast that shattered glass window panes more than two km away. The impact of the blast had struck the one behind. Debris and human remains were spread across a 1 km radius.
"We were just two vehicles behind," said Jasvinder Pal. "It was such a huge blast... I will not be able to forget it," added the jawan from Punjab, breaking down as he recalled his friend.
Another survivor, Danish Chand, was in bulletproof vehicle far behind. What he recalled most was the confusion after the attack - the feeling of not being sure where the attackers had struck. And then - the panic-struck calls from home.
"There was panic all around. The family back home had heard about the attack and they were shattered. One of my brothers is also in the CRPF. He somehow spoke to me and informed family that I'm safe," said Danish Chand.
Kishore Lal, an Assistant Sub Inspector, who was stationed at a wireless set, said he could hear the injured jawans screaming.
After the attack, the entire convoy was stuck for more than three hours before they were allowed to proceed to Srinagar.
The attack has triggered a huge outrage across the country, with many calling for an appropriate response. The government has promised action and efforts are on to isolate Pakistan in the international fora. The government has also withdrawn the "Most Favoured Nation" status accorded to Pakistan and levied 200 per cent customs duty on goods imported from there.