No compromise with Rahul Gandhi’s security: Jairam Ramesh
Samba/Jammu: A day after twin bomb blasts rocked a busy locality here leaving nine people injured, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Sunday said there will be no compromise on the security of Rahul Gandhi who is leading the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to party leaders, Gandhi is likely to celebrate Republic Day with the people of Jammu and Kashmir at Banihal – the gateway town to Kashmir along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway.
Talking about the security of the Gandhi scion, Ramesh said the party’s stand is clear on terrorism and that there is no compromise in dealing with either the perpetrators or sponsors of terrorism.
“There will be no compromise on the security of Gandhi. His security is our topmost priority and we are following the guidelines of security agencies in totality,” he told reporters at Chak Nanak in Samba, where the Yatra will stop for the night after covering a distance of 21 km from Hiranagar.
J&K AICC in-charge Rajni Patil, J&K Congress chief Vikar Rasool Wani and party chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma also addressed the press conference, asserting that the Yatra will conclude as per schedule.
“Rahul Gandhi is staying back in the Union territory and is likely to hoist the tricolour at Banihal along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway on the Republic Day,” Wani said.
Two back-to-back explosions had rocked a busy locality on the outskirts of Jammu on Saturday, leaving nine people injured, officials had said, adding that IEDs were used to carry out the explosions in an SUV parked in a repair shop and in a vehicle at a nearby junkyard at Transport Nagar area of Narwal.
Condemning the attack, party spokesman Sharma said the last leg of the Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir was chalked out in consultation with the security agencies.
“We are concerned about the safety and security of our leader. The twin explosions at Narwal and another in Bajalta a day earlier raise a question mark on the security arrangements,” he said.
“We accept that the security agencies are fully alert and are doing their job satisfactorily, but claims of the government that terrorism has been finished falls flat in the wake of such incidents. On December 31 last, they (security agencies) claimed that terrorism had been eliminated and the next day there was an attack in Dhangri village of Rajouri, leaving seven people belonging to the minority community dead,” he said.
The party spokesman also said that there will be no change in the Yatra programme as its nitty-gritty has been planned in accordance with the guidelines issued by the security agencies and the Lt Governor administration.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh today said that terrorism was alive in Jammu and Kashmir despite the abrogation of Article 370.
Singh said the recent terror attacks including the one at Dhangri village in Rajouri district are worrisome.
The former Madhya Pradesh chief minister made the remarks after visiting terror attack victims at the Government Medical College Hospital here. Singh was accompanied by senior party leader Jairam Ramesh and J&K Pradesh Congress Committee chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma.
“First of all, we condemn the terror attacks in Dhangri in Rajouri and Narwal in Jammu. The situation in J&K is not what is being propagated after the abrogation of Article 370. Targeted and selective killings and bomb blasts have started once again,” Singh told reporters.
While seven persons belonging to a particular community were killed in terror attacks in Dhangri village of Rajouri on January 01 and 02, twin blasts at Narwal in the outskirts of Jammu left nine persons injured on Saturday.
“One of the survivors from the Dhangri attack has become disabled for life and the government has provided him Rs 1 lakh. We want a permanent rehabilitation policy for such victims so that they can live their life without being dependent on anyone,” Singh said.
“We do not want any political mileage out of these worrisome incidents but we cannot ignore one thing that the terrorism is still alive in J&K even after the abrogation of Article 370,” he said.
The Congress leader said divisive politics is neither good for Muslims nor Hindus. “This country belongs to all of us and we all need to work together for the country. The Kashmir and Jammu (divisions) are both part of India and they should be treated equally and the policies be framed keeping in mind the problems of the region.”
Ramesh, Congress general secretary, said the delegation visited the hospital on behalf of Rahul Gandhi, Bharat Jodo Yatra and Congress party to enquire about the condition of the injured.