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Amid protests, Kejriwal defends demand for proof of surgical strikes

india Updated: Oct 04, 2016 19:16 IST
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Policemen try to disperse BJP workers protesting against Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, at his residence in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Virendra Singh Gosain/HT PHOTO)

Rejecting the BJP’s criticism, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday accused the party of ‘playing politics’ over the anti-terror surgical strikes across the Line of Control, India’s de-facto border with Pakistan.

In a rare gesture, Kejriwal had on Monday ‘saluted’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the strikes on terror launchpads. But he had also urged the Centre to counter the smear campaign by Pakistan, which has flatly denied that any Indian Army operation took place across the LoC.

However, the BJP alleged that Kejriwal had, in the garb of his statement, questioned the army’s assertion on surgical strike and insulted the armed forces.

“I have supported the Prime Minister, applauded the army. I only said that Pakistan is spreading false propaganda in the world that surgical strikes did not happen. We all believe that surgical strikes took place,” Kejriwal said on Tuesday.

Read: Kejriwal ‘salutes’ Modi for strikes across LoC, asks PM to expose Pak’s lies

“I had only appealed to the PM that a befitting reply should be given to Pakistan. If I said that we have to counter Pakistan’s false propaganda then why is the BJP so rattled and scared? We all have to counter Pakistan’s propaganda and we should all, irrespective of the party, strengthen PM’s hands in this,” Kejriwal said.

Claiming that Kejriwal “sought proof” on the anti-terror operation, the BJP asked him not to belittle the armed forces by getting influenced by Pakistani “propaganda”.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad questioned the AAP leader’s faith in the Indian Army.

Read: Don’t belittle army: BJP slams Kejriwal’s demand for proof of surgical strikes

On the same day, BJP workers staged protests outside Kejriwal’s residence, accusing him of a pro-Pakistan stance and demanding his resignation.

Hundreds of BJP supporters, led by Delhi unit chief Satish Upadhyay and leader of opposition in the Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta, raised slogans: “Jo Hafeez Saeed ka yaar hai, desh ka gaddar hai (Those who are friends with Hafeez Saeed are traitors).”

Workers of the Bharatiya Janata Youth and minority morcha also joined them.

The Delhi Police had to resort to mild force to disperse the protesters.