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Who is responsible for the laxity and security blunders in the Pulwama attack?
History repeats itself. On November 23, 2008, ten Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists, trained by Pakistani military and spy agency ISI, left Karachi for Mumbai via sea.

They entered India three days later on November 26, hijacking a ship owned by Indian fishermen and killed them en route. They targeted high-profile places including Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Taj Hotel at the Gateway of India, Cafe Leopold, Chabad House, Rang Bhavan Lane near Cama Hospital and St Xavier's College.

More than 160 people including 18 police officers and two NSG commandoes were killed. Around 310 others were injured as a fight back by security forces continued for about 60 hours.

September 16, 2008, the then Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil comes under attack from all sides including members of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA). He had to resign as home minister following the Mumbai terror attacks, faced constant criticism for his handling of India's internal security during his four-year tenure. He was believed to have to changed his attires thrice, the day 23 people died in a series of five bomb explosions in Delhi.

"His sartorial tastes do not sit well with the challenges of internal security,'' said a UPA leader. The singular voice was the Samajwadi Party that rose to his defence. "The only mistake he made was to change his clothes three times. Can you remove him for this?" Amar Singh had asked. How ironic, once he was a serious contender for Indian presidency. However, the terror attacks in Mumbai proved to be the proverbial last straw in Patil's downward career graph.

Highly placed sources had said then that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was "greatly disappointed" that the home ministry failed to prevent Mumbai from being held ransom for three days. Manmohan Singh was personally monitoring operations in Mumbai and the fact that Patil was not even called to the high-level security meeting in the aftermath of the Mumbai operations.

On 14 February 2019, a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber at Lethpora in the Pulwama district, Jammu and Kashmir. At least 40 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed in a dastardly terror attack. The well-planned attack used a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (known as VBIED) to target a CRPF bus that was part of a 70-vehicle convoy. The responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed. A Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist named Adil Ahmad Dar, a Kashmiri local, was identified as the attacker.

The whole nation was in shock and grief. The entire Opposition rallied in support of the government for taking measures to counter such incidents, and an all-party meeting was demanded.

Unfortunately, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not convene such a meeting and, in fact, he was absent at the all-party meeting convened in the Parliament.

The first comment about the incident came from the Shiv Sena, a close ally of the BJP. "The martyrdom of soldiers and terror attacks becomes a tool to win elections. How will such a nation face enemies? There are rhetorics of teaching Pakistan a lesson. First do it and then speak. We are only giving warnings since Pathankot, Uri and now Pulwama (terror attacks)," the Sena said.

The Opposition appeared united with the government and the mood of the nation was sombre as best it could be in such a situation. Forget about the crazy shenanigans of paid anchors of the Idiot Box and the motor mouth leaders of the BJP; forget about the Dant Kanti smile of waving Shakshi Maharaj who was riding along with the mortals remains of the martyred soldier; forget about the UP BJP minister who didn't care to remove his shoes as he entered the condolence meeting of a martyr.

However, the silence was broken by Congress party soon. The party questioned the "priorities" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and alleged that the PM continued shooting for a film in the Jim Corbett National Park for his "propaganda and publicity" even as the jawans were killed in the terror attack.

Congress party spokesperson Ranjit Surjewala said that when the entire nation was mourning the loss of jawans' lives, PM Modi was busy shooting for a film. "There is no better example than this of Modi's insult to our soldiers. At 3:10 pm, when Pulwama attack occurred and was all over news, Modi was shooting for a film till 6:45 pm in Corbett National Park," he said.

On February 17, Surjewala said, when the mortal remains of our soldiers returned to Delhi Airport, PM Modi returned one hour late from Jhansi because he was busy in political campaigns.

"Another shameful instance is when a BJP Minister takes a selfie with the coffin of a slain soldier," he said while referring to KJ Alphons clicking a selfie with the coffin of a CRPF soldier.

According to reports, PM Modi would feature in a Discovery documentary slated to be released later this month where Modi will recall his days of spiritual sojourn in the Himalayas in the early days of his career. The shooting was held in Jim Corbett National Park on February 14 which was attended by PM Modi.

It is interesting to recall that after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, the then Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh of the Congress was accompanied in a survey of the terror-hit sites by his actor son Riteish Deshmukh and filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma. All the hell was let loose upon the CM by the Saffron Brigade that time about the visit.

Surjewala referred to the PM's comment that people should not point fingers at such a time, and cited a video of PM Modi (then Gujarat Chief Minister) criticising the Congress government on the 26/11 attacks.

Here, it is important to recall that the RSS / BJP conglomerate had milked the story of  'The Surgical Strikes' to its last drop as if nothing of that sort of action had ever undertaken in the past. However, last year in December, while moderating a discussion on the 'Role of Cross-Border Operations and Surgical Strikes' at a Military Literature Festival, Lt General Hooda had taken a jibe at the Centre, saying the "overhype" of the strikes did not help and "it is not good" when "military operations get politicised.".

"Did the overhype help? I say, completely no. If you start having political resonance in military operations, it is not good. There was too much political banter, on both sides, and when military operations get politicised, that is not good," he had said.

Lt General DS Hooda had overseen the cross border surgical strikes in Sep 2016.

As condemnation of the Terror attack on the CRPF CONVOY poured in from all quarters, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Thursday promised that the "sacrifices of our brave security personnel shall not go in vain" while Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who named Pakistan, said a "strong reply" will be given.

Fine, but who is responsible for the laxity and security blunders in this entire episode? During the UPA, it was the head of Shivraj Patil that rolled now who? The National Security Advisor? The Defence Minister? The Home Minister? Or???????Speak Up Shriman!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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Dear Naimjee, Sometimes you trust on Congress spokesperson as a result of which you unintentionally include some misinformation in your article. For example, Modi's shoot was in the morning & he was supposed to address a rally in the afternoon. But getting the news of this ambush, he cancelled his attendance on the rally speaking very briefly for five minutes through the phone. Regarding self of minister with the dead body of slain soldiers, media already found out that the claim is a lie, somebody takes the photo of Thomas along with dead-body & spread it as a selfie. The basic point is where was the lapse? As I put in my previous article, that there was Intel, in fact, Gazi & co escaped an encounter with security forces just a few days ago. The SOP was followed & the ROP (Road Opening party) has checked everything. However, none has any clue that through a civilian vehicle one can do the ambush. Never ever blocking civilian vehicle during security convoy has done nor ever there was an arrangement to shift forces through the air. Post Pulwama the SOP included air travel & blocking of civilian traffic. Point is simple that this time terrorists did some innovative thing which stumped Indian security force. But then the fact is many such attacks averted by security forces which never comes to limelight. Security & Intel is totally taken by professionals & not politicians. What is the difference between 26/11 & 14/01? The PM immediately asked the forces to retaliate as per their plan. Home ministry asked to take care of details SOP considering the new threat with expert advice. Politically political bosses start fighting with Pakistan leaving the armed force to do their job. I have followed the happenings post-Pulwama. Nowhere PM or any minister has done any politics except warning Pakistan. It's Congress spokesperson Surjewal who based on a lie started politicisation which is not good for the nation.
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