“There was no lapse in security and it was a ‘badi durghatna’ (major accident) involving our CRPF jawans. The Prime Minister had said that the armed forces have been given a free hand. Whatever action needs to be taken would be done by the armed forces. The Prime Minister does not need to say any further,” Maurya had said in the video on February 21.
On March 4, Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh had described the Pulwama attack as an ‘accident,’ drawing sharp criticism from BJP. Singh said after the Pulwama durghatna (accident) and the Indian Air Force (IAF) strike, “sandeh” (doubt) is being expressed in some foreign media reports following which vishwasniyata (credibility) of the government is under question.
The Congress leader’s statement came at a time when many opposition leaders, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, are raising questions over the Balakot strike by the Indian Air Force (IAF) on February 26 and asking for proof and the exact casualty inflicted on terrorists.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday made a veiled attack on Singh for terming the Pulwama terror attack as an ‘accident’ and slammed the ‘few people’ within the country who refuse to believe that the IAF had carried out a damaging strike at a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) camp in Balakot in Pakistan.
“The party which ruled our country for decades is now questioning the ability of our brave forces, especially a leader from Madhya Pradesh. Today, he said Pulwama terror attack is an ‘accident’. Was it an accident? This is their mentality; he is the same person who gave Pakistan a clean chit at the time of 26/11 Mumbai attacks. He is the same person for whom Osama Bin Laden (late Al-Qaeda leader) used to be a messenger of peace,” Modi said in a rally in Dhar in Madhya Pradesh.
Several BJP leaders also hit out at Singh for his comments on the Pulwama attack, saying these were making headlines in Pakistan. Forty CRPF personnel were killed on February 14 in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into their convoy. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad had claimed responsibility for the attack.