Investigators probing into the petrol-bomb attack on Kashmiri truckers in Jammu region have ruled out the involvement of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party activists, but say the attack could be part of a larger political “game-plan”.
“Investigations till now have revealed that the accused are not associated with the BJP. (But) They do have an affiliation with a local politician. Incidentally, most of accused and the politician belong to the same caste,” a senior police official, wishing not to be named, told the HT on Tuesday.
The investigators believe the accused, aged between 18 and 20 years, were brain washed into carrying out the attack.
“One of the accused, during questioning, said he had been shown video clips of activities of Muslims against Hindus. Though we don’t have a substantial evidence to establish this argument of the accused, but it does point to a larger political game plan,” the official added.
Seven people have so far been arrested for the attack in Udhampur district, which left two truckers from Valley’s Anantnag district, Zahid, 19, and Showkat, 35, with 40 to 70% burns.
The attack evoked widespread condemnation in the state’s Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley, which observed a complete shutdown over a call by traders and separatist groups.
Earlier on Saturday, the last day of the state assembly’s autumn session, the entire Opposition staged a walkout over the issue. The main opposition party, the National Conference, had blamed the BJP for the attack.
Meanwhile, deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh has also condemned the attack and blamed the Opposition of polarising the situation along communal lines “in a desperate attempt to destabilise the government.”
“It’s totally wrong and we condemn this attack. It’s another instance of the desperate combined opposition -NC, Congress and Panthers Party- to polarise the state on communal lines. But the government will sternly deal with such incidents,” Singh told HT.
The director general of police, K Rajendra, has reportedly directed the police to take tough action against the accused, besides rumour-mongers and politicians involved in such activities.