• Thursday, July 25, 2024

INDIA

Former Kashmir chief minister expresses concern after terrorists kill 5 Indian soldiers

The terrorists hurled a grenade and opened fire targeting army vehicles which were on a routine patrol on July 8 afternoon.

An injured soldier of the Indian Army being taken to a hospital for treatment following a terrorist attack on an Army convoy, in Kathua district of the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, July 8, 2024. At least five army personnel were killed in the terrorist attack. (PTI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

THE killing of five army soldiers in a militant attack in Kathua district of the northern Indian Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir is alarming, Omar Abdullah, a leader of local political outfit National Conference said on Tuesday (9) while accusing the UT’s administration of being lax towards the security situation.

The attack took place on Monday (8) when a group of heavily-armed terrorists ambushed a patrolling party in Badnota area in Kathua. A massive search operation is underway to nab the terrorists behind the ambush in which five people were also injured.

“It is very unfortunate. I think no criticism of this attack is strong enough. To lose five brave army soldiers in the line of duty in one attack is something we should all be alarmed by,” Abdullah, 54, told PTI Videos.

The National Conference vice president and former chief minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir said the administration needs to be more vigilant.

“We have been saying time and again that militancy is a problem in J-K and you can’t wish it away. This government had convinced itself that somehow August 5, 2019 is the solution to all the problems, including violence and terror, but clearly that’s not the case,” he said referring to the day Article 370 of the Indian Constitution was abrogated and the state downgraded into the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

“I think the administration in J-K needs to be more vigilant, I think they are showing rather lax tendency with regard to the security situation and hopefully attacks like this won’t happen again,” Abdullah added.

Will the recent spurt in terror attacks, especially in Jammu region, have an impact on the conduct of assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir?

“Assembly elections are a matter of Supreme Court order and I do not believe that the security situation is so bad that elections cannot take place. We have had elections in 1996, we have had elections to parliament in 1998, 1999 when I believe the situation was much worse.

“So, unless the government is ready to accept that the situation here today is worse than it was in 1996, I think elections must go ahead,” Abdullah replied.

Referring to security being withdrawn for some politicians, he said it was fine if done so on the basis of proper analysis and a proper security assessment.

“But we have seen that both providing security and withdrawing security in J-K is largely a political thing. It is done on political considerations. So that I think needs to be avoided,” Abdullah added.

The veteran leader contested the general elections held recently from Baramulla constituency in Jammu and Kashmir but lost to an independent opponent.

(With PTI inputs)

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