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Political leaders condemn Rajouri attack

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Srinagar: Political leaders in Kashmir on Monday condemned the killing of six people in Rajouri and slammed the LG-led administration for failing to weed out terrorism even after four years of abrogation of Article 370.

Former chief minister Farooq Abdullah said terrorists do not discriminate between their victims, whether they are Hindus or Muslims, as he condemned the attacks which took place on Sunday and Monday.

“I condemn the killing of innocent persons. It does not matter what religion or region the victim belongs to, an innocent is an innocent,” Farooq Abdullah told reporters.

He said the atmosphere of hatred was responsible for the killing of innocents.  “What was the fault of the victims in Rajouri? Or what was the fault of the Kashmiri Pandits killed in Shopian?” he asked.

The Lok Sabha member from Srinagar said that according to the BJP government at the Centre, terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir was due to Article 370, but they were mistaken.

“Have they been able to end terrorism? Four years have passed since Jammu and Kashmir was made a Union Territory,” he said.

Omar Abdullah, the National Conference vice-president, questioned the authorities for allegedly not following the standard operating procedure in the aftermath of the Sunday gunfire incident.

“This apparent carelessness on the part of the security forces needs to be probed & accountability fixed. Costly lessons learnt in the past taught us not to hand over the sites of encounters/attacks without thoroughly sanitising them.

“Why wasn’t this SOP followed in Rajouri?” he said in a tweet.

“Deeply shocked as more details emerge of this targeted attack in Rajouri district of Jammu. I unequivocally condemn this heinous attack & send my condolences to the families of the deceased.

“I hope those injured in this attack will make a swift & complete recovery,” he said.

BJP national general secretary Tarun Cugh while expressing his shock and grief at the death of six people in Rajouri, in a statement, said it was a cowardly act by the “Pakistan-based militants who are basically disturbed at the recent development and growth of the union territory”.

Chugh said Pakistan is disturbed to see guns and stones being replaced by books and computers in the hands of the J&K youth. “It is time that Pakistan agents understand it comprehensively that the Modi government would not spare any effort to bring a new culture of progress and prosperity to the region,” he said.

Chugh said the Modi government has zero tolerance to such violence taking place and would deal with them with an iron hand.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti also condemned the killings and attacked the BJP for its “bogus claims” of ending militancy in the region.

“Condemn this cowardly act & condolences to their families. Despite being under BJP rule & its bogus claims of ending militancy, violence continues unabated. Had J&K had its own elected government, the same media would have hauled them over the coals,” she tweeted.

Mufti also accused the BJP of leveraging Hindus’ deaths for political gains and appealed to the people to retain their brotherly spirit.

“Muslims get killed here every day but when our Hindu brethren get killed, a particular party exploits these incidents to spread Hindu-Muslim hatred across the country for its benefit,” Mehbooba Mufti told reporters in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

People’s Conference leader Sajad Lone in a tweet said: “Yet another carnage. This time in Rajouri. Condemn the cowardly act. My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives.”

“The perpetrators of this dastardly act will rot in hell,” he added.

Altaf Bukhari-led Apni Party called it a “cowardly and dastardly attack.”

“Such heinous acts are condemned in the strongest possible terms. We stand in solidarity with the civilians and pray for peace to the deceased, and strength to the bereaved,” the party tweeted.

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