In the aftermath of Thursday's suicide bombing in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama, that killed 42 CRPF personnel, with the Centre on Saturday called for an all-party meeting to deliberate upon the situations arising out of the terror attack.
The meeting was attended by Azad, Anand Sharma and Jyotiraditya Scindia of the Congress, Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Derek O'Brien of the Trinamool Congress, Sanjay Raut of the Shiv Sena, Jithendra Reddy of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, D Raja of the CPI, Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference, Ram Vilas Paswan of the Lok Janshakti Party, Naresh Gujral of the Akali Dal, Upendra Kushwaha of the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party and Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav, among others, reported News18.
The leaders unanimously passed a resolution condemning the attack. Following the resolution, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah took to Twitter to express his displeasure with the resolution.
Abdullah was one of various attendees at a high-level security meeting held at Home Minister Rajnath Singh's residence. RAW chief AK Dhasmana, Additional Director IB Arvind Kumar, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and NSA Ajit Doval were also in attendance.
The meeting took stock of the security measures in place to foil any design of the Pakistan-based terrorist groups to disturb peace in Jammu and Kashmir as well as in hinterlands, the official said. The home minister directed the officials to ensure that all possible steps are taken to hunt down terrorists currently operating in Kashmir valley, another official said. Those who attended the meeting include Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and Director of Intelligence Bureau Rajiv Jain.
Hours after the meeting, one Indian Army major was killed in an IED blast in Nowshera sector of Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district. CNN-News18 reported that the major was killed when a patrol party in the region was hit by the IED blast. According to ANI, the major was killed while defusing the IED which was plante 1.5 km inside the LoC. The officer is from the Corps of Engineers.
Meanwhile, the mortal remains of the 42 CRPF personnel who were killed in the Pulwama attack were sent to their respective homes. Crowds thronged the streets in Tamil Nadu's Madurai, Odisha's Bhubaneshwar, Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj and various other places across the country to receive and pay their last respects to the slain jawans.
#WATCH Madhya Pradesh: Visuals from Jabalpur as the mortal remains of CRPF Constable Ashwani Kumar Kachhi are being brought to his home. #PulwamaAttack pic.twitter.com/hQUwh7sMMw — ANI (@ANI) February 16, 2019
J&K Police investigations continue
A team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday morning arrived at the site of the Pulwama attack for further investigation. According to CNN-News18, the Jammu and Kashmir police also detained overground Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) workers, which sources told the news channel are "routine". The exact number of detentions was unclear.
The news channel later reported that Thursday's suicide bombing in Pulwama was planned by Ibrahim, the younger brother of Masood Azhar, the founder and leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist group. According to the news channel, Ibrahim was also one of the hijackers in the IC-814 incident.
Two other men were also the co-conspirators behind the attack, and the Jammu and Kashmir police have launched a massive operation to nab the three men, the news channel reported.
The JeM had claimed responsibility for the attack on Thursday.
Youths booked for 'objectionable' comments
In Uttar Pradesh, two youths faced police action in Lucknow and Mau respectively for making "objectionable " comments about the Pulwama attack on social media. An FIR has been registered against a Lucknow student for making objectionable comments on WhatsApp.
Meanwhile, a youth was taken into police custody in Mau over an "objectionable" Facebook post. The Superintendent of Police in Mau said about the incident, "after the post, which had increased chances of swaying public opinion, was posted online on 15 February, the police went and took Mohammad Osama into custody. After we interrogated him, he was put in jail," he said.
In addition, a Kashmiri youth was booked in Bengaluru for allegedly posting derogatory remarks on a social networking site. Following a complaint by Vishwa Hindu Parishad office bearer Girish Bharadwaj, a case was registered on Friday against Abid Malik under relevant sections of the IPC and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967, for a post he wrote on Facebook.
Malik allegedly shared some images posted by a news channel after the attack and captioned it 'The real surgical attack' on his Facebook page, police said.
Twitterati demands action against Navjot Singh Sidhu
Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu had on Friday condemned the killing of the 42 CRPF personnel and added, "for a handful of people, can you blame the entire nation and can you blame an individual?"
His comments were not received well by the Twitterati, who called for a boycott of The Kapil Sharma Show and Sony TV unless Sidhu was sacked from the television programme.
Political leaders went one step further, and demanded that the cricketer-turned-politician be sacked from the Punjab Cabinet as well. #SackSidhuFromPunjabCabinet became the top trend on Twitter shortly after. Punjab BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga led the charge against Sidhu.
As per a report in The Indian Express, Sidhu has already been asked to step away from the show. The publication quoted a source as saying, "His remarks have not been taken kindly by most. Also, the channel and the show was getting dragged into the unwanted controversy. This is when the team amicably decided that Navjot make a distance from the show."
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Updated Date: Feb 16, 2019 18:42:03 IST