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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

Pulwama attack: Omar Abdullah spars with Union minister Jitendra Singh, Mehbooba Mufti joins in

The Twitter war started after Jitendra Singh, the Union minister of state for Prime Minister’s Office, called politicians from Kashmir “apologists” and Omar Abdullah reacted by slamming him for playing politics over dead and injured soldiers.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2019 12:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
At least 30 CRPF jawans were killed and dozens other injured when a CRPF convoy was attacked.
At least 30 CRPF jawans were killed and dozens other injured when a CRPF convoy was attacked. (AP)
         

The political reactions to the suicide bomb attack in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, which killed at least 44 CRPF soldiers on Thursday, gave way to a war of words between National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and Union minister Jitendra Singh.

The suicide bomber with explosives-packed car rammed into one of the buses carrying the personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in Awantipora area of the district late on Thursday afternoon.

Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), which Indian authorities say is backed by Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Twitter war started after Jitendra Singh, the Union minister of state for Prime Minister’s Office, called politicians from Kashmir “apologists” and Omar Abdullah reacted by slamming him for playing politics over dead and injured soldiers.

Also read | Finally, Pakistan reacts to Kashmir attack, says ‘don’t blame us’

“Distardly attack on CRPF personnel is a desperate act by terrorists on the run. While the entire nation solidarily stands with the Indian security forces, will this also be an eye opener for Kashmir-centric politicians who are always apologetic on such occasions (sic),” Singh had tweeted earlier.

“It’s a dastardly act done out of desperation. I call to question those who while living in India & describing themselves as mainstream Kashmir politicians tend to be apologetic about these terror activities sponsored from across Indian soil,” news agency ANI had quoted the minister as saying.

Abdullah, the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister tweeted his reaction after Singh’s comments.

“Shame on this apology for a minister! Mainstream Kashmiri politicians condemned the attack hours before the PM even got around to saying anything. This man has the audacity to play politics with the dead & injured CRPF soldiers,” Abdullah tweeted tagging the minister’s comments to ANI.

Also read | ‘Pakistan is frustrated’: J-K Governor Satya Pal Malik after Kashmir attack

“I’ll give you a political reply to your drivel but unlike you I’ll actually wait till the nation can mourn the sacrifices of its brave sons,” Abdullah tweeted later.

Singh, in turn, called Abdullah “a product of dynasty politics”.

“Disgusting to respond to this man called @OmarAbdullah who is a product of dynasty politics nourished by protracted militancy which sustains his political relevance, if at all he has any,” Singh shot back at Abdullah’s tweet.

The verbal duel did not stop there as Abdullah continued his attack.

Also read | Pulawama attack fallout: India withdraws most favoured nation status to Pak

“This man is a disgrace. Not one word of sympathy for the families of the dead & injured soldiers but he has time to tweet not once but twice to attack me. These are the people our country relies on to keep us safe. #Shame,” Abdullah tweeted back.

Peoples Democratic Party’s Mehbooba Mufti also criticised Singh for his comments.

“I beg to differ. As MoS PMO, prudence deems it necessary that you enquire about the security lapse. Instead you re using it as an opportunity to berate us. No regard for solemnity of the occasion. Why discredit us when the fault lies in your refusal to address the problem? (sic)” Mufti tweeted.

In January, Abdullah had similarly slammed Singh for his comments on 2010 IAS topper from the restive state, Dr Shah Faesal over the issue of terror. Faesal announced his resignation from the civil service as a mark of protest against the “unabated killings in Kashmir, lack of any sincere reach-out from the centre and the marginalisation of Indian Muslims at the hands of Hindutva forces”.

Jammu and Governor Satyapal Malik had also earlier attacked the Kashmir centric politicians saying they were “discredited people” in the Kashmir’s society.

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

“We don’t care about such politicians. They have lost the ground,” he added.

Malik also said that the Kashmiri centric politicians, who ruled the state, were reluctant to complete Shahpur-Kandi barrage project.

“I would like to tell that all the water from Ujh was going to Pakistan but now after we signed an Mou more than 40,000 hectares of agrarian land will be irrigated in Jammu but the Kashmiri politicians never bothered for the past 46 years because they knew that water will go to Jammu. They are simply interested in minting money,” he added.

First Published: Feb 15, 2019 11:53 IST

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