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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

Govt vows action, Oppn blames ‘security failure’ over Pulwama terror attack

The opposition Congress targeted the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government for its “failure” to safeguard national security.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2019 12:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, new Delhi
Indian soldiers examine the debris after an explosion in Lethpora in south Kashmir's Pulwama district February 14, 2019.
Indian soldiers examine the debris after an explosion in Lethpora in south Kashmir's Pulwama district February 14, 2019. (Reuters)
         

The government vowed a swift and “unforgettable” response to Thursday’s attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) vehicle in Jammu and Kashmir that left 44 troopers dead.

The opposition Congress targeted the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government for its “failure” to safeguard national security.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attack, the worst in the state in three decades of insurgency. “The sacrifices of our brave security personnel shall not go in vain. The entire nation stands shoulder to shoulder with the families of the brave martyrs,” he said.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley said the nation stood with the families of the slain personnel. “Terrorists will be given (an) unforgettable lesson for their heinous act,” he said.

Also read| CCS meet on Pulwama attack that killed 44 jawans ends, Rajnath heads to J&K

Home minister Rajnath Singh, who will visit Kashmir on Friday, was quoted by news agency ANI as promising a “strong response” to the terror attack. “The attack was carried out by Pakistan backed Jaish-eMohammed. A strong reply will be given and I assure the people of the country this,” he said.

Watch | Pulwama terror attack: Govt vows swift response

Jitendra Singh, minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office, termed the attack “dastardly”. “Dastardly attack on CRPF personnel is a desperate act by terrorists on the run. While the entire nation...stands with the Indian security forces, will this also be an eye opener for Kashmir-centric politicians who are always apologetic on such occasions,” he tweeted.

The Congress condemned the attack but blamed the government. Congress president Rahul Gandhi said he was deeply disturbed by the attack. “My condolences to the families of our martyrs,” he said.

Also read | Pulwama terror attack ‘matter of grave concern’, says Pakistan as it rejects link to attack

Senior party leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said this was the 18th major terror attack under the Modi government, which came to power “on the plank of protecting national security”.

“This horrific attack in Jammu and Kashmir is a testimony to Modi government’s utter failure on national security. Zero political action and zero policy to tackle terror has led to an alarming security situation... BJP plunged J&K into deep turmoil,” he said.

In Kashmir, politicians across the spectrum condemned the attack. Governor Satya Pal Malik said the forces responsible for insurgency were desperate and frustrated, and that they just wanedt to prove their presence. “Visibly it seems to be guided from across the border as Jaishe-Mohammad has claimed the responsibility,” Malik said.

Also read | US condemns Kashmir attack, tells Pakistan to end ‘safe haven’ to terrorists

Former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti said words were not enough to condemn the gruesome attack. “Not only the Centre but I want all parties to get together and find a solution to this issue so that this bloodshed stops once for all. The surgical strikes and confrontation on border is achieving us nothing but our soldiers are getting martyred like this,” she said.

Another former chief minister and National Conference leader, Omar Abdullah, said he condemned the attack in the strongest possible terms. “My prayers for the injured and condolences to the families of the bereaved.”

Also read | Updates| ‘Will take steps to isolate Pak globally’: Jaitley after CCS meeting

First Published: Feb 15, 2019 08:11 IST

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