As the Indian Army faces one of its biggest attacks on its units in recent times, the Uri terror attack, leaving 17 army jawans dead, has shocked many across the country. While the encounter has ended and four militants have been neutralised, combing operations are still underway. Home Minister Rajnath Singh has held a high-level meeting at his residence which was attended by MHA and MoD officials. Army Chief Dalbir Singh has arrived in Srinagar, while Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will visit Uri later Sunday. Political leaders across the spectrum have condemned the incident in the strongest of words.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured the nation that the people behind the Uri attack would be punished. In a series of tweets, PM said the services of those martyred in Uri would never be forgotten. He also extended his condolences to the bereaved families. PM Modi also said that he had spoken to the Home Minister and Defence Minister adding that Parrikar would soon visit Jammu and Kashmir to take stock of the situation.
President Pranab Mukherjee took to Twitter to express his denunciation of the terrorist attack and wrote, “Strongly condemn outrageous terrorist attack on Army base in Uri; tributes to brave soldiers who made supreme sacrifice. Heartfelt condolences to families of those bereaved in Uri terrorist attack; prayers for speedy recovery of injured. India will not be cowed down by such attacks, we will thwart the evil designs of terrorists and their backers.”
Vice president Hamid Ansari expressed deep shock at the terrorist attack and blamed Pakistan for it without naming it. “My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those whose loved ones have been killed”, said Ansari. He said that such attacks were the “result of the use of cross-border terrorism by one particular country in our region. We shall deal with such provocations in a befitting manner.”
Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday slammed Pakistan, saying he was deeply disappointed with that country’s continued and direct support to terrorism and terrorist groups. “Pakistan is a terrorist state and it should be identified and isolated as such. There are definite and conclusive indications that the perpetrators of Uri attack were highly trained, heavily armed and specially equipped.”
Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi called the Uri attack an attack on national conscience. She also said that the perpetrators should be severely dealt with along with the forces behind them. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi expressed his condolences on Twitter saying, “Strongly condemn the militant attack on Army base in Uri. My heartfelt condolences to the families of the bravehearts martyred in the attack.” Speaking to news agency ANI, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, said that his party with the forces who are “the protectors of our nation who keep it united.” Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said that he was “shocked and distressed” by the Uri terror attack. “Salute the jawans. Govt must mobilise all resources, manpower and material, to strengthen border defence to prevent infiltration of terrorists,” he said.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor took to Twitter to express his condemnation of the incident. Calling for an urgent review of our defence systems, preparedness and firepower, Tharoor said he “mourned” the lost of 17 jawans in Sunday’s attack. Another Congress MP, Partap Singh Bajwa said he saluted the “17 brave-hearts” who lost their lives in the Uri terror attack. Former Rajasthan CM and Congress leader Ashok Gehlot too condoled the death of 17 army jawans on Twitter.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti condemned the attack saying, “Strongly condemn Uri Attack. The attack seems to be aimed at triggering fresh violence and creating a war-like situation in the region. Heartfelt condolences to bereaved families and also pray for early recovery of those injured in the attack. J&K has always been worst victim of Indo-Pak hostility & its ppl have been paying a colossal price for same for past over 6 decades.”
Jammu and Kashmir Deputy CM Nirmal Singh said the government was serious about the infiltration from Pakistan. Collectively targetting the separatists, militants and Pakistan, Singh said that all this was an effort to create tension in the nation. Minister of State Jitendra Singh expressed his disturbance over the loss of “precious lives” of Indian Jawans. “Can nation ever repay for such supreme sacrifices?” he asked in a tweet.
Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said attacks such as the one in Uri were clear attempts to destabilise the internal harmony in our nation. Minister of State for Home, Hansraj Ahir said that the defence ministry has taken the attack very seriously adding that such attacks “will not be tolerated” and will be met with “appropriate response.” Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation Sadananda Gowda too condemned the “brutal & cowardly attack” in Uri. While issuing a call to unite and fight back, he extended his deepest condolences to the families of the martyred soldiers.
Minister of State for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Y S Chowdary saluted the sacrifice of the 17 martyrs on Twitter adding that his thoughts were with the bereaving family members. Mansukh Mandaviya, the MoS for Road Transport & Highways too condemned the attack on Twitter conveying his condolences to the family members of the 17 army martyrs. Textile Minister Smriti Irani too said that she was “pained” by the “mindless” terror attack in Uri. “I salute our brave soldiers for their supreme sacrifice & extend condolences to their families,” she said. Rajasthan CM Vasundara Raje said it was chilling to know of the Uri attack and she strongly condemned it.
Continuing their attack on the NDA government, Aam Aadmi Party leader Ashutosh said, “When Pathankot airbase attacked,Parrikar was in Goa, Ordinance factory burnt He was in Goa,Uri Army base attacked he is in Goa.Will TV debate?” Another AAP leader Kumar Vishwas carried out a veiled attack on the government through a couplet posted on Twitter which read, “Bas bhaashan mein zor dikhaana swaabhiman nahi hota. Cake saney haathon se shatru ka sandhan nahi hota.” Loksatta party founder Jayaprakash Narayan said it was time to bury the hatchet and evolve strategy. He also said that Pakistan must choose between self-destruction and prosperity.
CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury issued a statement saying the party condemned the killing of 17 army jawans this morning. It also said that terrorism is not the solution to the kashmir issue and such acts would only compound the situation further. The statement also read: “Pakistan must stop aiding and abetting the extremist forces. Such activities are a big impediment to the peace process in region. The CPI(M) would like to reiterate that for a long withstanding 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.”
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar released an official statement saying he is deeply saddened by the martyrdom
of 17 soldiers in the terror attack at headquarters of 12th Army Brigade near LOC in Uri sector in Jammu and Kashmir. The statement also read: “Kumar hailed the valour and dedication of the soldiers towards service to the nation by laying down their lives in the terror strike. The country will always remember the supreme sacrifice made by those soldiers attaining martyrdom in the Uri terror attack.”
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also denounced the terrorist killing of 17 soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir and said “India cannot be cowed down by such attacks”. “I strongly condemn the cowardly attack at Uri in which 17 soldiers lost thier lives,” the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader tweeted. “My heartfelt condolences to the families of those martyred in Uri,” he added.
BJP leader Ram Madhav on Sunday asserted that days of strategic restraint are over and suggested that “for one tooth, the complete jaw” should be the policy after the Uri terror attack. “The Prime Minister has promised that those behind the Uri terror attack will not go unpunished. That should be the way forward. For one tooth, the complete jaw. If terrorism is the instrument of the weak and coward, restraint in the face of repeated terror attacks betrays inefficiency and incompetence. India should prove otherwise,” said Madhav.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, “We don’t believe that it is a terrorist attack, it is planned attack by Pakistan. No need to talk, now we should take some rigid actions. If it doesn’t stop now people will turn against the government.”
Speaking to reporters, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, “These are challenges to our security. Pathankot and Uri (terror attacks) appear to indicate that these (fidayeen attacks) have restarted again. And I think this is a major challenge which I am sure our security forces will gear up to respond.”
He said that in recent years there had been an increasing reliance “on activities like stone throwing agitations” which were instigated from across the border. He said the terror attacks “have nothing to do with complexion of the governments in power at the Centre.” Replying to a question, he said, “such (like Uri attack) security situations are handled by security forces… on the basis of political statements, response is not given”. Asked about a recent statement of Pakistan Defence Minister that if the neighbouring country will need to use nuclear weapons for their survival they will, Jaitley said, “This is an irresponsible statement. Such statements are condemnable and the world also does not accept such threats.”
“Like PM Modi said that the ones behind these attacks will not be spared and brought to justice, in an international arena, Pakistan will be isolated if it continues to adopt such measures. It is clear that our neighbour is using terror to create menace in our country, which is also supported by some stone-pelters,” said Arun Jaitley.
NCP leader Majeed Memon on Sunday condemned the Uri attack and questioned the BJP-led NDA regime’s future course of action while dealing with the hostile neighbour. “This would just mean nothing short of external aggression. And I am sure that at this time of grief and test, all political parties and all leaders would stand together side by side along with the Prime Minister and the Home Minister. We would give a befitting reply to Pakistan and to the whole world would sure that how our liberal and flexible approach has been misused by our neighbour,” Memon said. He also said, “We expect that the Prime Minister without the loss of even an hour must come forward and make a very strong condemnatory statement and tell the world that how we have suffered at the hands of our neighbours.”
It is painful, now it is clear from military’s observation that the terrorists were trained in Pakistan. On the diplomatic level we have left the defensive policy and have adopted assertive policy. On the issue of terrorism, no country is standing today with Pakistan, even their trusted allies US is snubbing them. We have raised the issue of Balochistan, so from internal to international angle we have diplomatically cornered Pakistan. The Indian government is taking due consideration of all the aspects and will give a befitting reply to them,” said BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi.