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Pulwama Attack: In RTI Reply, Centre Refuses to Disclose Names of Soldiers Killed and Probe Report

Members of Sewa Sankalp Yuva Sangathan light lamps to pay tributes to the martyrs of Pulwama terror attack on the first anniversary of the incident in Bhopal on Thursday. (ANI Photo)

Members of Sewa Sankalp Yuva Sangathan light lamps to pay tributes to the martyrs of Pulwama terror attack on the first anniversary of the incident in Bhopal on Thursday. (ANI Photo)

Activist PP Kapoor claimed the government is not releasing the information on purpose in order to "hide its failures".

Panipat: The central government has refused to make public an investigation report into the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed on February 14 last year. The government’s refusal was revealed in a response by the Ministry of Home Affairs to a Right To Information (RTI) query.

PP Kapoor, a Panipat-based RTI activist, had filed a query seeking information about the soldiers killed in the attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

But the Centre has neither disclosed the names nor is ready to divulge whether the government considers them martyrs or not. It has also refused to disclose the details of all types of assistance given to the families of the deceased soldiers.

Kapoor had filed two different RTI applications – on January 9 and January 10 -- with the Director General of CRPF under the Union Home Ministry. He sought their responses on five points, including the names and designations of the jawans killed, a copy of the investigation report as well as those officers found guilty in the probe.

“The DIG of CRPF Directorate (administration) and Public Information Officer, Rakesh Sethi, refused to give the information sought in the January 2020 reply. The reason cited by the CRPF behind not making the information public is that according to the provisions of Para-24 (1) of Chapter-6 of RTI Act-2005, the CRPF is exempted from giving any kind of information except in cases of corruption and human rights violations,” said Kapoor.

He claimed that the government is not releasing the information on purpose.

“It wants to hide its failures. On one hand, 40 Indian soldiers sacrificed their lives to protect the country. But on the other, the government is not ready to even mention their names,” he said.

Kapoor said the Pulwama attack is a direct case of corruption and human rights violation of CRPF personnel, so the officer cannot deny him information. “Perhaps the reason behind not giving information could be more number of martyred soldiers than were reported,” he said.

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