While the ruling BJP has blamed Pakistan for the deaths of the three security personnel in Anantnag, the Congress has slammed the Centre for allegedly being apathetic towards the tragedy.
Condolences are pouring in for the three security personnel — identified as Colonel Manpreet Singh, Major Ashish Dhonak, and DSP Humayun Bhat — who were martyred in an encounter in Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Wednesday. The tragedy has now sparked a political row as the Opposition has accused the BJP of being apathetic to the incident.
The gunfight ensued when the security forces launched a counter-terrorism operation in the Gadole area of Kokernag Tehsil in Anantnag district, where terrorists were hiding, on Wednesday morning. The Resistance Front, a shadow group of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Union Minister General VK Singh expressed sorrow and blamed Pakistan. He said, “We have to think. Because unless we isolate Pakistan, they will think it is business as normal…If we have to bring them under pressure, we have to isolate them. They need to know that no normal relations can be maintained unless you yourselves become normal.”
BJP National spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain echoed the sentiment and said an appropriate response would be meted out. He said, “The sacrifice of our Jawans will not go to waste…A befitting reply would be given…The terrorists involved in this will be severely punished… The whole country is with the families of Colonel Manpreet Singh, Major Ashish Dhonak, and DSP Humayun Bhat…We will not forgive the terrorists involved in this.”
National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah slammed the BJP-led Centre for the attack. He said the only way to stop these attacks is to find a way to continue peace talks. He aired his concerns, saying, “I don’t see an end to this. Today, we had an encounter in Rajouri; there are encounters daily. The government shouts daily that militancy is over. Now tell me, is militancy over? This will not be over until a path is not found through which peace can be achieved. Peace cannot be achieved through a fight, it can come through talks…”
However, General VK Singh dismissed the accusation, saying the tragedy did not mean a rise in militancy in the valley. “We lost three officers. It’s painful. But this should not be looked at in the way that militancy is rising again,” he said.
The Congress, too, slammed the BJP and PM Narendra Modi, saying that the BJP was busy praising the PM when jawans were being martyred. Congress leader Pawan Khera said: “The country is shocked by this martyrdom. Peace is not an event. Yesterday, it was sad to see that while the encounter was going on and our soldiers were getting martyred, there was applause for the Prime Minister in the BJP office. This is the height of insensitivity.”