Hardly had the guns fallen silent after Saturday’s ambush of a CRPF contingent by militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pampore when a row erupted between the paramilitary force and the Indian Army over who killed the attackers.
While the army said it killed two militants believed to be from Pakistan in retaliatory fire, the CRPF lodged a protest against it for “wrongly claiming credit”.
The CRPF, which has been involved in counter-militancy operations in the Kashmir valley, alleged some army troopers arrived at the scene after the encounter was over and started clicking selfies with the bodies of the slain militants.
Within no time, the army’s Northern Command tweeted: “Army kills two terrorists who fired upon CRPF convoy at Pampore, Kashmir Ops in prog. Injured CRPF personnel being attended to.”
Fuming, the CRPF men and officers took up the matter with the army’s top brass.
Soon thereafter, the official Twitter account of Northern Command posted a revised message, saying “Update on Pampore ops. Injured CRPF personnel evacuated to hospital. Two terrorists killed in joint op by security forces.”
Officers of the CRPF informed their seniors and the army that there was no joint operation. They said the army personnel arrived on the scene after the encounter was over and walked away with weapons carried by the militants, besides clicking selfies with their bodies.
“They were wrongly claiming credit for an operation of which they had no clue,” said an officer who was associated with the developments on Saturday when two militants attacked a CRPF bus at Pampore, on the outskirts of Srinagar, killing eight security personnel and wounding 21 before being felled in the counteroffensive by the paramilitary force.
An official said the army was shown videos of its men busy clicking selfies after which the Northern Command tweeted: “Update on Pampore Ops. Two terrorists killed by CRPF in retaliatory action. Earlier tweet stands corrected.”
Director general of CRPF K Durga Prasad, who was on Monday asked at a press conference whether the army had played any role in the encounter, said: “Army’s 51 RR (Rashtriya Rifles) unit reached the spot after the incident got over.”
When contacted, a spokesperson for the Srinagar-based 15 Corps Col NN Joshi refused to comment.