2019 Pulwama Attack: 'Why Were CRPF Personnel Denied Aircraft,' Congress Asks Centre After Malik's 'Revelations'
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The Congress on Saturday demanded that the Centre reveal the outcome of the probe into the 2019 Pulwama incident in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed and asked why the paramilitary personnel were "denied" aircraft and made to commute by road despite terror attack threat.
Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh accused the BJP-led Union government of "minimum governance and maximum silence" and asked for its response to the allegations made by Satya Pal Malik who was the governor of Jammu and Kashmir at the time of the Pulwama terror attack.
"It is the government's responsibility to answer," he said, adding that the Congress will continue to ask questions that concern national security.
There has been no reaction from the government since Malik's interview to a news portal was released, while the BJP has said that there were serious questions about his credibility and cited various statements made by him in recent years.
Tagging the interview, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted in Hindi: "To whom does Rs 20,000 crore belong - why is the prime minister so afraid of answering this question?"
In another tweet on Friday night, Gandhi repeated the reported statement of Satyapal Malik, saying, "The prime minister does not hate corruption very much."
Ramesh also said on Twitter, "The Home Minister should stop trying to play Narada Muni and address the very serious charges levelled against his Saheb by his own party colleague, Satyapal Malik."
In another tweet, he said the probe into the Pulwama incident assumes fresh significance in the light of Malik's "revelations".
"Former governor Satyapal Malik has made sensational revelations in an interview. And now every effort is being made to suppress the issues raised in the interview but the truth will not be suppressed. These are very serious and important questions that are related to national security," Ramesh said.
"Asking questions is our duty, we will not stop, no matter how long the PM remains mute and whatever threats come our way," he also said.
Addressing a joint press conference along with party leaders Pawan Khera and Supriya Shrinate, Ramesh alleged that the government has created buildings as symbols of democracy but democracy is missing.
Shrinate asked, "Why were the CRPF personnel denied an aircraft? Why were they not airlifted?"
"Why were the Jaish threats ignored? Why were 11 intelligence inputs, between 2 January 2019 and 13 February 2019 that had warned of a terror attack ignored," she said and asked how could militants procure 300 kgs of RDX.
"After over four years, where has the inquiry into the Pulwama terror attack reached? Where, when, how and who will fix the accountability for NSA Shri Ajit Doval and then Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh," she asked.
Khera also said the interview had raised several questions including why did prime minister ask Malik to "remain silent".
Meanwhile, BJP's IT cell head Amit Malviya played videos of Malik's remarks in 2018 where he had lauded Narendra Modi as "best for Jammu and Kashmir", but has now said that the prime minister is "ill-informed about J-K".
"The best thing about speaking the truth is that you don’t have to remember what you spoke last time… Satyapal Malik, the disgraced governor of J-K, tying himself in knots here…," he said citing the videos of 2018 and 2023.
"Satyapal Malik, former Governor of J&K, admits to lying and making up baseless stories on what Home Minister Amit Shah had said about Prime Minister Modi... No one took him seriously even when he made these allegations back then. But it raises serious questions on his credibility," Malviya said while playing out Malik's interview.
He also played another video on his remarks about Rahul Gandhi and said, "Before Congress minions get all excited about Satyapal Malik, their newfound knight in shining armour, here is what he had to say about Rahul Gandhi. So, sit down…"
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said the BJP-led central government must respond to claims made by Malik on the Pulwama terror attack.
"Allegations have been levelled against the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Centre. The matter is linked to the security of the nation and the martyrdom of jawans.
"If the then governor has made such statements and accusations, then the Centre must reply to it," Baghel told reporters while replying to queries.
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