The entire Opposition including the Congress, the Left, AAP and the JD(U) condemned the terror attack in Uri that killed 17 soldiers Sunday and demanded that the perpetrators be severely dealt with. “Congress president Sonia Gandhi has expressed shock and deep distress over the martyrdom of Indian soldiers in the dastardly terrorist attack in Uri,” a party statement said. Describing the “cowardly” attack as a “deplorable affront on our national conscience”, Sonia expressed hope that “the perpetrators of this dastardly attack as also the forces behind them will be severely dealt with and brought to book”.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar hailed the valour and dedication of the soldiers. “The country will always remember the supreme sacrifice made by those soldiers attaining martyrdom in the Uri terror attack,” a government statement said. His alliance partner Lalu Prasad of the RJD, however, took a jibe at the government.
“Our soldiers are being killed because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s negligence. Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of our country which is gradually slipping out of control,” the RJD chief said. “It is time for strong action, condemning it in strong words will not do. How can there be such an attack on our jawans despite intelligence alerts?”
Former defence minister A K Antony too hit out at the government: “It is a serious security lapse. The central government has not learnt any lesson from the Pathankot attack.”
Former home minister P Chidambaram said the government must mobilise resources to strengthen border defence. “Shocked and distressed by the terror attack in Uri. Salute the jawans. Government must mobilise all resources, manpower and material, to strengthen border defence to prevent infiltration of terrorists,” he tweeted. Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari called for a robust response from the PM.
Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “Strongly condemn the militant attack on Army base in Uri. My heartfelt condolences to the families of the bravehearts martyred in the attack.”
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The CPM, while condemning the attack, asked the government to initiate a political dialogue with all stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the Kashmir issue. “Terrorism is not the solution to the Kashmir issue. Such acts only compound the situation further. Pakistan must stop aiding and abetting the extremist forces. Such activities are a big impediment to the peace process in region,” the CPM said. “For a longstanding solution of the Kashmir problem, the political dialogue with all stakeholders as advocated by the all-party delegation should be initiated without any further delay,” it added.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “India cannot be cowed down by such attacks. I strongly condemn the cowardly attack at Uri in which 17 soldiers lost lives. My heartfelt condolences to the families of those martyred in Uri.”
Meanwhile, BJP ally Shiv Sena warned the government that it would have to face the anger of the people if it did not take urgent steps against Pakistan. “There is no need to talk now. It is time for urgent and rigid action against Pakistan. If these attacks do not stop now, people will turn against the government,” Sena MP Sanjay Raut said.