Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave his third direct warning to Pakistan and the perpetrators of the dastardly Pulwama terror attack on the CRPF, while addressing a public rally at Maharashtra's Yavatmal on Saturday.
Following his addresses at New Delhi and Jhansi on Friday, PM Modi once against saluted the 40 CRPF bravehearts who were martyred in the Pak-backed Jaish-e-Mohammad's terror attack, highlighting how two martyrs had hailed from Maharashtra.
"The martyrs' sacrifices won't go in vain", the Prime Minister assured, adding that "the crime committed by the terrorist groups - no matter how much they try to hide, they will be punished".
He again reiterated that the security forces had been given the freedom to avenge the attack, and then turned his gaze directly on Pakistan, highlighting its conception - a result of the partition of India - and how it was staring at imminent economic collapse and had become synonymous with terrorism.
"The security forces have been given a free hand. A country that came into existence after the partition of India, in which terrorism is given support - which is on the brink of economic collapse - that country has become synonymous with terrorism", the Prime Minister said.
The time, place and manner of the punishment that will be meted out to the perpetrators of the attack would be chosen by the security forces, he re-affirmed:
"How the hand behind the Pulwama attack will be punished, the scope, scale, time and place of the punishment, all this our Jawans will decide", PM Modi warned, adding that the fact that India had been able to progress towards fulfilling its dreams was because of innumerable sacrifices.
"If we're being able to progress and work towards development, it is on the back of innumerable sacrifices", he said.
India remains in a state of mourning on Friday, with the mortal remains of the martyrs making their final journeys to their respective home-towns. On Friday, the Prime Minister, other union ministers, the Chiefs of the Forces, Delhi CM Kejriwal and Congress president Rahul Gandhi were present at Palam airport in New Delhi as the mortal remains arrived from J&K's Budgam. At the time of publishing, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who was present at the wreath-laying ceremony in Budgam and had helped carry the mortal remains to the IAF transport aircraft, is chairing an all-party meeting in Parliament over the attack.
40 CRPF Jawans were martyred on Thursday as the convoy they were travelling in, on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, was attacked by a suicide bomber in an explosives-laden car. It was the worst terror attack on the forces in many decades, drawing condemnation from across the world. India has revoked Pakistan's Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status and also approached diplomatic missions of numerous countries to isolate Pakistan globally.
The CRPF has posted a heartrending graphic of the 40 bravehearts who were martyred: