Truth Behind The Security Lapse Must Come Out: Pulwama Victims’ Kin

A fibre glass made bust of slain CRPF jawan Sudip Biswas installed near Hanspukuria bus stand in Tehatta

Kolkata, April 17: The fresh revelation of the alleged security lapse has come as a shocker to the family members of the two Pulwama terror attack victims from Bengal. An allegation of denial of aircraft to ferry the CRPF jawans that surfaced four years after the deadly attack has revived the wounds of the family members of Sudip Biswas of Nadia’s Tehatta and Bablu Santra of Howrah’s Bauria. Both the

family members want the ‘truth’ behind the alleged ‘lapse’ to come out, but are not interested at all to be part of the renewed political controversy.

Sudip Biswas and Bablu Santra were among the 40 CRPF personnel who were killed when a suicide bomber driving a car packed with explosives rammed a bus carrying them on the Jammu Srinagar highway in Pulwama on February 14, 2019.

Family members of Sudip Biswas demanded that the allegation of denial of aircraft to ferry personnel should be probed by any independent agency to examine its veracity and identify the persons, who were responsible for such denial. “However, this has little meaning anymore to us”, Sudip’s father Sanyasi Biswas, 68, said.

The family, which lives in Nadia’s Tehatta, criticized the alleged attempt of the centre to suppress the truth behind the security lapse as raised by former Punjab governor Satyapal Malik in a recent interview. The victim’s family members said the allegation if true is quite “unfortunate” and the centre should make a categorical statement to make its point clear.

Victim’s sister Jhumpa said “We heard about such allegation a few days after the attack. Now the issue has come up again as a senior person who was once in the administration has raised fingers to none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi”. “If the allegation is really true, the centre should make it clear under what circumstances such denial was made and who ordered the denial of an aircraft for ferrying the troops despite an intelligence alert of a terror threat on the movement of the jawans”.

The bizarre terror attack has created fresh controversy creating an embarrassment for the centre since former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satyapal Malik in an interview has claimed that he was asked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “keep quiet” when raised the issue of an alleged security lapse for ferrying the CRPF personnel.

In the said interview Malik claimed that the Union Home Ministry had allegedly refused to provide five aircraft requested by the CRPF authorities to move the troop, compelling the personnel to move by road in a convoy that become the target of the terrorist attack. Malik claimed to have told Modi that had the government provided aircraft the terror attack could have been averted.

Malik’s statement sparked a political controversy as Congress has demanded a reply from the centre seeking to know the outcome of the purported probe into the attack. Pakistan’s foreign minister has also used Malik’s comment to attack the Modi Government accusing it of using the incident for political purposes.

“There were at least 11 intelligence inputs that warned about the possible terror attack. But why Jaish threats were ignored? …Why the jawans were not airlifted?” Congress spokesperson asked the centre while raising several other issues on the attack.

Centre conducted a probe by NIA, which flagged intelligence failure as the main reason apart from the excessive length of the CRPF convoy as one of the major reasons for the terror attack.

Slain jawan Sudip’s brother-in-law Samapta Biswas said, “All the issues and questions raised by the former J&K Governor and Congress seem to be quite logical ones and the centre is accountable if any such lapse or denial had really occurred. Such questions were raised on earlier occasions also. But silence on the part of the centre is quite painful”. Sudip’s father Sannyasi Biswas said, “We want the truth to come out….”.

“The centre has paid us compensation in lieu of the life of my brother and other benefits. The amount of compensation is decent enough to lead a comfortable life. But no parents want such comfort at the cost of the life of their son…”, Sudip’s sister Jhumpa added.

Mita Santra, wife of victim CRPF jawan Bablu Santra, however, refused to offer any comment on a “political statement”. She, however, reiterated that a definite ‘security lapse’ led to the attack. “As I told earlier after speaking at various levels that include my husband’s colleagues I still believe that a major security lapse occurred…There was heavy snowfall in the stretch during the time and movement was suspended…Nevertheless, the troops’ movement was ordered which still remains a mystery to me…But after four years of the attack, I shall not any comment on any political person’s allegations” “…I am just not interested anymore in it”, she told The NfN.

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