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regular-article-logo Sunday, 03 March 2024

Former servicemen to stage protest against Centre to demand answers on Pulwama terror attack

The national coordinator of the Confederation of Ex-Paramilitary Forces Welfare Associations, Ranbir Singh, said on Tuesday that the plan is to organise the protest march on November 26, which is celebrated as Samvidhan Divas (Constitution Day)

Imran Ahmed Siddiqui New Delhi Published 18.10.23, 10:31 AM
Picture tweeted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 15, 2019, shows him standing before the coffins of soldiers killed in the Pulwama attack

Picture tweeted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 15, 2019, shows him standing before the coffins of soldiers killed in the Pulwama attack Sourced by The Telegraph

The Confederation of Ex-Paramilitary Forces Welfare Associations is planning to hold a protest march in Delhi next month to demand a white paper on the Pulwama terror attack from the Narendra Modi government and fixing of accountability for the lapses that led to the killing of 40 CRPF soldiers in Kashmir in February 2019.

The national coordinator of the association, Ranbir Singh, told The Telegraph on Tuesday that the plan is to organise the protest march on November 26, which is celebrated as Samvidhan Divas (Constitution Day).

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“We plan to bring widows and family members of the 40 CRPF jawans who were killed in the terror attack. It has been over four years since the Pulwama attack and the government has failed to fix accountability and responsibility on those officials whose failure led to the killing of our 40 jawans,” Singh said.

He said the current government, which always uses the nationalism plank during elections, has yet to come clean on what led to the killing of the 40 CRPF personnel. The jawans were killed when a bomb blew up the bus they were travelling in.

“The families of the 40 slain CRPF jawans have every right to know who was responsible for the negligence of intelligence reports that proved fatal for our jawans,” Singh said.

He flagged former Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik’s allegation that the government had refused an aircraft to ferry the CRPF jawans despite intelligence reports of a possible terror attack.

Addressing a media conference in Delhi, Malik last month demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the Pulwama terror attack.

Malik had said: “Modi had politicised the killings of 40 CRPF soldiers and the IAF strikes in Balakot during the Lok Sabha polls and had even asked first-time voters to dedicate their vote to the valiant soldiers who carried out the air strike in Balakot.”

The Pulwama attack had taken place eight weeks before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

He added: “It has been over four years since then, but the Modi government has failed to fix accountability. Winning elections is his only priority. The people of this country need to remain alert that similar attacks can happen this time too before the parliamentary polls.”

Members of the Confederation of Ex-Paramilitary Forces Welfare Associations, including Singh, had also spoken at the media conference.

“Instead of fixing responsibility, the government is trying to silence those who are demanding accountability from them by sending central investigating agencies,” Singh said.

In an interview to The Wire news portal on April 14, Malik had said that when he had, as the then Jammu and Kashmir governor, blamed the 2019 Pulwama massacre on the Centre’s own lapses, Modi had told him “tum abhi chup raho (you keep quiet now)”.

After Malik’s allegations, the CBI had issued summons to him for questioning in connection with an alleged health insurance scam in the Union Territory.

Neither the PMO nor any other government wing has responded to Malik’s claims in the interview till now.

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