NEW DELHI: In light of Saturday’s attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Pampore town of Jammu and Kashmir, Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said that he has instructed the security forces to reply with full force if threatened while advocating that they are trained to kill and not to die.
Addressing a gathering at Sarala Bhawan as part of the BJP”s “Vikas Utsav”, Parrikar hailed the relentless endeavours of the security forces and said that over 70 percent of infiltrators have been gunned down in the past two months. “In the past two months we have killed over 70 percent terrorists, who were trying to infiltrate the Indian borders. And during these operations our men did not die because we had already told them that I respect martyrdom, but you are trained to kill the enemy, not to die,” said Parrikar.
“Moreover, we have given them instructions that if anyone threatens you give them a reply with guns. What did I do” I just gave them the confidence,” he added.
He wondered if there was any security lapse behind the Pampore terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir but Home Minister Rajnath Singh made it clear bullets will not be “counted” during India’s retaliation.
As yesterday’s attack on a CRPF convoy, the deadliest one on security forces in recent years that left eight personnel of the force dead, triggered an outrage, Singh and Parrikar said the security forces have “standing orders” and “full freedom” to retaliate and forget the “count of bullets” if they are fired upon.
With questions cropping up over a possible security lapse, Parrikar expressed doubt if the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) was followed properly by the bus-borne CRPF personnel at Pampore.
He said he “doubted if the SOP was followed properly” while noting that the clear picture will emerge after the inquiry.
“We will only get to know the exact reason after the inquiry,” Parrikar told reporters in Bhubaneswar. A three-member team of Home Ministry officials is visiting Kashmir on Tuesday to find out if there were any security lapses and the practices being followed during the movement of the attacked CRPF convoy. It will also look into the possible increase of cross border infiltration during the attack. “I have asked the Home Secretary to send a committee to Pampore to look into any lapses so that we can correct it in the future and our jawans do not face martyrdom in such incidents,” Singh said.