J&K Guv’s Statement on Pulwama Attack Leaves Mufti ‘Stunned’, Subramanian Swamy Says BJP Failed
Satya Pal Malik said that the Thursday attack in Pulwama, which left 37 CRPF personnel dead, was partly the result of an intelligence failure due to the fact that security forces could not detect the loading and movement of the explosive-laden Scorpio.
File photo of Jammu & Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik.
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik admitted that the unprecedented attack on CRPF men on Thursday happened because of a huge intelligence failure and accused mainstream politicians of “abetting terror”, inviting the wrath of opposition parties.
“This is our carelessness that no checking was done on the highway where this incident happened. There was someone with a car full of explosives and we did not have a clue,” Malik told News18.
He also added that there was no doubt that the attack, biggest in the history of the decades-long conflict in Kashmir, was supported by Pakistan and said it was result of a string of successful counter-insurgency operations conducted by Indian security forces in the valley. These operations put pressure on Pakistan to do something big, Malik added.
“Operations are being conducted successfully. These terrorists were hiding in jungles. Pakistan is likely to have put pressure on them to do something big. Do something big otherwise we will have no face to show]. This is the work done under Pakistani pressure, with Pakistani support,” Malik said.
On the possibility of retaliation, of another ‘surgical strike’ against Pakistan, Malik said, “something should be done and something will be done.”
Malik also criticised the role played by mainstream Kashmiri politicians in the valley. “See Mehbooba Mufti’s statements in last 15 days. Any militant who dies, she goes to his house. In their frustration they are saying all those things today that abet terrorism,” Malik said.
Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti slammed the Governor and asked why 2,000 CRPF jawans were allowed to travel together in a convoy.
“Stunned at his refusal to acknowledge grave security lapse despite intelligence inputs. Why were 2000 CRPF men allowed to travel in a convoy? Is air travel only for political elites? Defies common sense. Easy to blame us. J&K under guv rule so he can’t abdicate responsibility,” she tweeted.
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi also criticised Malik and asked who should be blamed for the attack. “Governor of J&K suggestion that there has been some laparwahi on behalf of the intelligence is a public statement now. Question is, in the Governor's Rule, who is to be blamed? (sic),” he asked.
The Jammu and Kashmir police had shared an intelligence input with all security agencies two days ago of a video uploaded online which showed that such an attack may be carried out.
Sources said CRPF had taken all precautions on Thursday, including sanitisation of the convoy’s route for IEDs and deployment of lookouts to detect any terrorist trying to lob grenades or open fire.
However, allowing civilian vehicles to use a stretch on the Jammu-Srinagar highway while the convoy was passing through proved disastrous. Officials have said that the convoy, comprising 78 vehicles, was larger than usual because the snowed in Jammu-Srinagar highway was closed for a week.
Singhvi said that the five worst terror attacks in Kashmir had taken place during BJP or NDA rule, and linked it to the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government’s decision to release Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar from prison in 1999 in return for the 155 Indian Airlines passengers who were held hostage in Afghanistan.
The Pakistan-JeM has claimed responsibility for Thursday’s suicide attack in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed.
“Escorting Masood Azhar out of Indian prison 2 Afghanistan has cost India most dearly. If total deaths of innocents and brave jawans due to #Masoodmachinations were added up since last 19/20 years post his release, they Wld cross 200/250 if not more! (sic)” he tweeted.
The attacks also came from within BJP. Party’s Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy said BJP has failed in Kashmir and failed to properly retaliate. But he added that BJP is capable of re-tooling itself and smashing Pakistan, and said that Kashmir should be the main issue of 2019 elections.
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