Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed urged Islamabad on Sunday to rein in militants while condemning last week’s terror attacks in the state that sparked outrage in the assembly, with BJP legislators shouting anti-Pakistan slogans as opposition members staged a walkout.
Two terrorists in military fatigues stormed a police station in Jammu’s Kathua district on Friday and gunned down a policeman, a civilian and two paramilitary personnel before being killed, while two more militants were shot dead the next day after they attacked an army camp in Samba area.
“The relations between India and Pakistan won’t improve if such incidents continue to happen,” the chief minister said. “There were no incidents on the borders in the state from Kathua to Kargil between 2002 and 2008. There are some rogue elements which, in the name of religion, are carrying out such acts. These elements will not be allowed to damage the fabric of peace in the state.”
The terror strikes came less than a month after Sayeed credited Pakistan and separatists for the peaceful polls in December that saw his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the BJP emerge with the biggest numbers, leading to an alliance between the two ideologically divergent outfits.
BJP legislators shouted slogans like “Pakistan murdabad (down with Pakistan)” in the assembly and demanded a befitting reply.
Congress leader Nawang Rigzin Jora attacked the chief minister who had blamed “non-state actors”, a euphemism often used by the Pakistani establishment, following the Kathua incident.
“Both attacks show that there was a grave intelligence failure,” said National Conference member Sajjad Kichloo, as party leader and former chief minister Omar Abdullah led a walkout after an adjournment motion was rejected.
The twin attacks come at a time when Sayeed has been pushing for phased withdrawal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) that gives security personnel sweeping powers to search, arrest or shoot people in the militancy-hit state.
“Keeping in view the improving security scenario, the state government will examine the need for denotifying ‘disturbed areas’, which have been free from militancy-related incidents for quite some time,” Sayeed told the state assembly in a written reply on Sunday. “It will enable a phased withdrawal of AFSPA from such areas.”