New Delhi: Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday reacted angrily to the killing of eight paramilitary personnel by gunmen in India-held Kashmir on Saturday. He blamed Pakistan for the attack in Pampore.
“India will not hesitate to retaliate if disturbed,” Indian media quoted Mr Singh as saying. “We won’t fire first, but if Pakistan fires then we won’t keep an account of our bullets,” he said in Jharkhand, adding that the neighbouring country was trying to destabilise India.
Mr Singh said he had set up a committee to probe the attack in Pampore. The two-member team would look into any lapses in the handling of the terror attack that left eight CRPF personnel dead.
In the deadliest attack on security forces in Kashmir in recent years, eight CRPF personnel were killed and 21 others critically wounded on Saturday when terrorists rained bullets on a bus carrying them at Pampore.
Mr Singh praised the security men for successfully eliminating “two terrorists involved in yesterday’s attack”.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said procedures were not followed by the paramilitary troops who come under the home ministry’s supervision.
“I think the standard operating procedure wasn’t followed properly,” Mr Parrikar said, adding that the situation would be clearer after an inquiry.
Mr Singh said a probe was under way. “I have asked the home secretary to send two-member committee to Pampore to report if there were any lapses, so we correct them and our soldiers don’t have to lose their lives in future,” Mr Singh said.
Addressing a gathering of BJP workers in the presence of Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das and others, Mr Singh said: “Yesterday, two Pakistani terrorists ambushed the CRPF convoy. I am proud of their valour. They neutralised the two terrorists despite being under attack. Eight of our jawans (were) martyred. My condolences to their families…we will win against terrorism.”
Mr Singh added that Pakistan’s attitude was not helpful.