Other States

Mamata questions timing of Pulwama terror attack

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday raised questions on the timing of the terrorist attack at Pulwama before the Lok Sabha polls, and asked why the incident was not prevented despite “intelligence inputs.”

“How have they [Pakistan] got this encouragement before elections? After Parliament is over, when this type of thing happen, as a citizen of the country, I am in doubt. Why have we not taken action against Pakistan earlier? Why at the time of elections, you tell me?” Ms. Banerjee questioned at the State Secretariat.

Referring to the suicide attack that killed at least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel at Pulwama on February 14, the Chief Minister said that, like all in the Opposition, she wants strong action against terrorists, but emphasised the need to fix responsibility. “Why were 2005 jawans in 78 vehicles were allowed in one convoy when the government had intelligence inputs and information that attacks could happen?” Ms. Banerjee said.

“Now we see that we are quiet and [PM] Modi and Amit Shah are making speeches everyday, and through these speeches it appears that only they are patriotic and we are all foreigners,” she said.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) chairperson repeatedly referred to “intelligence inputs” and, browsing through her phone, claimed to have a copy of an intelligence notification of February 8. “My phone is tapped by intelligence agencies. I am telling you officially that I have evidence of it and I will place it before you at the right time,” she said.

‘Fomenting trouble’

Ms. Banerjee also alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other pro-Hindutva organisations were stoking public outrage following theattack to incite unrest in West Bengal. “I want to appeal to the right-minded people of West Bengal that the citizens of this country have the right to stay anywhere,” she said.

The CM alleged that the BJP, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) are taking out late night processions with national flags and targeting people of different communities. “It is a planted game of the RSS, VHP and the BJP. We will resist attempts to take political advantage of the situation,” she said, directing the police to take action against those indulging in riots.

BJP hits backs

West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh hit back at Ms. Banerjee, saying that while the entire country is demanding “tough action against the enemy”, the TMC is opposing tough action against Pakistan. While Mr. Ghosh said that the Chief Minister is “seeing the ghost of BJP everywhere, particularly when the law and order situation of the State has collapsed,” he also wanted to know what was stopping her government from announcing an ex-gratia compensation for the two slain CRPF jawans from the State.

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Printable version | Oct 30, 2020 8:14:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/mamata-questions-timing-of-pulwama-terror-attack/article26305191.ece

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