Don’t count bullets while returning Pak fire, Rajnath tells soldiers at border

  • Saurav Roy, Hindustan Times, Ranchi
  • Updated: Jun 27, 2016 09:03 IST
Union home minister Rajnath Singh with Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das during ''Hariyali Sapath Samaroh'' programme organised by BJP in Ranchi on Sunday. (PTI Photo)

Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday asked Indian Army soldiers to not hold themselves back while firing in retaliation at the Indo-Pakistan border, even if the object of provocation happens to be a single bullet shot from the other side.

“The first bullet shouldn’t be fired from our end. But even if there is a single incident of firing from the other side of the border, our men should not count their bullets while retaliating,” said Singh, who visited the Jharkhand capital to inaugurate a mass sapling plantation drive by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The party aims to plant at least 1 crore saplings across the state through this project.

Speaking in the backdrop of a militant ambush on a para-military convoy in Pulwama district, the Union minister said Pakistan lacks the willingness to tackle terrorism. “I am pained whenever our jawans die at the border. Two terrorists killed eight of our jawans in Jammu & Kashmir, but both of them were shot dead by our men. I condole the death of our jawans and assure that terrorism in any form will not be tolerated,” said Singh.

Eight CRPF jawans were killed and 20 others injured when militants ambushed their convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday. The Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba claimed responsibility for the attack.

Singh also plans to monitor the steps being taken to combat Left Wing Extremism in four states – Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha and West Bengal. Home department sources said he will attend the eastern zonal council meeting in Ranchi on Monday to discuss the initiatives being launched to minimise Maoist influence over these areas.

Nearly 21 of Jharkhand’s 24 districts are infested by Left wing extremists. Besides Maoists, Jharkhand has at least 17 splinter outfits that indulge in child trafficking, extortion and fear-mongering.

Singh also used the occasion to denounce the Emergency imposed by former prime minister Indira Gandhi on June 25, 1975. “People were arrested simply for raising slogans against the Congress. Even I had to spend months in jail… democracy was murdered for political benefits and dynastic politics during that period,” he said.

Chief minister Raghubar Das, state urban development minister CP Singh and minister of state Sudarshan Bhagat were among the BJP legislators and parliamentarians present at the event.

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