New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday wondered where Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "56-inch" chest was as it demanded strong action against Pakistan and sought justice for slain Indian soldier Narendra Singh.
Party chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the time has come to "show red eyes to Pakistan and display strong demeanour and not just vaunt about a "56-inch chest".
He said there is anger not just in Haryana, from which the slain soldier Narendra Singh hails from, but the entire country and asked the prime minister when he will bat for the soldiers instead of "sending cricket bats" to Pakistan.
"When will today's leadership fulfil their responsibility towards the country? Where is that 56-inch chest and the red-eyes they once claimed that would show to Pakistan? Does Prime minister's conscience not prick him," he asked.
"The country's leadership will have to answer now. It looks like the government is more concerned about the dishonest than the country's soldiers. Time has come to show the 56-inch chest and red eyes to Pakistan," he said.
The Congress leader said the entire country is demanding answers, but the country's leadership has adopted a conspiratorial silence.
"We demand that both sons of Narendra Singh be given employment as per their qualification by the Haryana government and want he be given the status of a martyr," Surjewala said, adding that the government should be seen standing behind the family of the slain soldier who has fulfilled his duty towards 'Mother India'.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari condemned the "barbaric, inhuman and repulsive manner" in which the Indian soldier was killed, saying it violates every convention and standard operating procedures between even adversary armies.
"I think every Indian today who read that report must have felt personally violated. This cannot go on. India needs to respond. The NDA government is in the dock. The country wants a response to this inhuman and barbaric killing," he said.
Tewari said this is not the time to go into very rhetorical statement which used to emanate out of the NDA-BJP when they were in the opposition.
"But today, you are in government, you are in power. A brave soldier of our paramilitary forces has been treated in the most inhuman manner possible and this country wants a response. And I hope Mr 56 and all his colleagues would be cognizant of the anger in the country," he said.
Surjewala said the prime minister used to say we will bring 10 heads in place of one, "but we do not want 10 heads, at least the killers of Narendra Singh be given exemplary punishment and the government should be seen standing with the family of Narendra Singh".
He said the anger within the country was natural as the manner in which the jawan was killed was barbaric.
"Modi ji, soldiers are India's soul. India's soul Narender Singh was tortured for nine hours, eyes gorged out, legs cut, throat slit and shot by Pakistan.
"Narender paid his debt to 'Mother India'. The question is - Instead of sending 'cricket bats' to Pakistan, when will you bat for our soldiers," he asked.
He said earlier it was soldier Hemraj and now Narendra Singh, who has been "tortured, tormented and murdered" by Pakistan.
The body of the BSF head constable, who went missing after unprovoked firing by Pakistan in Jammu's Ramgarh sector on Tuesday, was found with a slit throat and multiple bullet injuries on his body a day later.
Pakistani forces had last year killed two Indian soldiers and mutilated their bodies after unprovoked firing on two forward posts.