Paying tributes to the CRPF jawans killed in the Pampore attack, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday aid such incidents are only “defaming” Kashmir while keeping potential investors and tourists away from the state.
“The only purpose of such blood-spattered acts of violence is to add to the tragedies and miseries of the people and subvert the government’s efforts aimed at bringing permanent peace and prosperity to Jammu and Kashmir,” Mufti said in a statement on the day of the encounter.
A wreath-laying ceremony, with full state honours, was held in Srinagar for the eight Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel who lost their lives in an encounter with Lashkar terrorists in Pampore on Saturday.
Deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh were present at the ceremony.
“Nothing can be achieved by this.... We are only defaming Kashmir and the state by these acts. We also deal a set back to the religion we practice,” Mehbooba told reporters.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also offered his condolences in a series of tweets: “I salute the courage of the CRPF personnel martyred today in J&K. They served the nation with utmost dedication. Pained by their demise. My thoughts are with the families of those martyred today. May those injured recover soon.”
Describing the attack as “desperate attempts to create problems for the country”, Union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju said the government was committed to ensuring peace and security, and that necessary action will be taken.
“The incident is very unfortunate... We condemn such ghastly attack by terrorists and we pay homage to the departed martyrs and send our condolences to the bereaved family members,” Rijiju said.
In the deadliest attack on security forces in recent years, eight CRPF personnel were killed and 22 others critically injured the militants ambushed a Srinagar-bound three-vehicle CRPF convoy near Frestbal in Pampore town at around 5:50 pm on Saturday. The militants fired intensely at one bus, leading to the high number of causalities.
In a statement to a local news agency, Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba’s spokesperson Abdullah Ghaznavi said two members of its suicide squad carried out the attack.
“There may be claims by groups [taking responsibility for the attack], but we have to make complete official assessment of the situation. Our DG CRPF has been asked to go there and other senior officers have rushed to Srinagar,” Rijiju said.
“The situation is challenging...people who believe in extremism, they are very desperate because we have got a very dynamic Prime Minister and India is progressing very well and so they are doing everything to scuttle the efforts of the government to taking India to new level of prosperity,” the Union minister added.
Senior officials of the home ministry and the director general of the CRPF will be arriving in Srinagar on Sunday to take stock of the situation in Pampore.