West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday wondered why the Centre did not stop Pakistan from carrying out terror attacks in India for the last five years, News18 reported. “Only when an election is knocking at the door, you thought of starting a shadow war,” she reportedly told the government.
Her remarks come after 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district when a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist drove a van carrying explosives into their convoy on February 14.
Banerjee also claimed that she has documents to prove that the Centre had received inputs from intelligence agencies on February 8, that attacks like the suicide bombing might take place before the Lok Sabha elections, ANI reported. “Why was no action taken?” the Trinamool Congress chief asked while speaking to reporters at the state Secretariat in Kolkata. “Why were 78 [jawans] in convoys still allowed? I also have intelligence reports that my phone is always tapped, as you all know.”
“Why weren’t the jawans airlifted [following the attack]?,” she asked. “You spend so much on publicity, so why weren’t the jawans taken by air or train? I have done it while I was the railways minister.”
The West Bengal chief minister said that the Trinamool Congress did not make any political statements after the attack, because “we thought we will fight this together”. “But then we saw, we are sitting quietly but [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi and [Bharatiya Janata Party chief] Amit Shah are roaming around giving speeches,” she added. “The speeches are like they are the only patriots and everyone else is anti-national.”
Banerjee warned that if the BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh attempt to start riots using the terror attack as an opportunity, the country will not forgive them. “We will stop the move to start riots,” she added. The Trinamool Congress chief claimed the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and RSS are already trying to ignite communal riots.
Shah had earlier on Monday said the Narendra Modi government has a zero tolerance policy for terror and that security forces would retaliate at an appropriate time. Modi had claimed last week that terrorists and their sponsors have committed a grave mistake in Pulwama.
India has revoked the Most Favoured Nation status it had granted to Pakistan. The government has withdrawn the security cover granted to five Kashmiri separatists. On Monday, it suspended the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service and stopped trade across the Line of Control.