Intro: Close on the heels of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections; terror outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaat Ahrar has used Wagah blast as a medium to send a political message to India.
The jihadist terror attack mere meters away from the Indian border is one among the many incidents pointing towards the fact that a big bang terror operation might be on way in the coming times in India. More worrying is the fact that the Wagah border blast is followed by a direct threat to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In a reply to the tweet by the prime minister condemning what he called a dastardly act of terrorism that killed 60 people and injured 200, the splinter group, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaat Ahrar (TTP-JA) tweeted in English, “You (Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi) are the killer of hundreds of Muslims. We will take the revenge of innocent people of Kashmir and Gujarat” (sic).
“This attack is an open message to both governments across the border,” said TTP-JA spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan in an Urdu-language message.
TTP-JA is a new outfit that broke away from the mainstream Taliban movement in September and has announced its support for the Middle Eastern group Islamic State, whose belligerent anti-Western ideology has begun to inspire militants across South Asia.
This not the first time Modi has been threatened for life, according to a report in the English Daily Times of India in August, there was a serious threat to PM Modi’s life while delivering the Independence Day speech. It said that the PM could be attacked while on the move by terrorists backed by Pakistan.
In the report, a senior intelligence officer was quoted saying that “Narendra Modi is at greater risk than any other prime minister in the past 20 years.”
Budgam Blast: Playfield of Politics?
Meanwhile, as the Assembly elections are nearing in Jammu and Kashmir, the Line of Control (LoC) is tensed and the Pakistani set up has openly expressed its ill intentions. It is the time when ISIS flags are repeatedly popping out in the Valley and al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, said to be close to TTP-JA, has announced the creation of a South Asia wing of al-Qaeda, and has threatened to stage attacks on countries across the subcontinent.
In an unfortunate firing incident in the Budgam district two youths Faisal Ahmad Bhat and Mehraj-ud-din have lost their lives. The condition of the other two injured persons, Zahid Abdul Naqqash and Shakir Ahmed Bhat, who were rushed to the 92 Base Hospital after the incident and were immediately operated upon, is stable.
According to Army spokesperson Colonel Brijesh Pandey, security forces had an input about militants moving from Nowgam area of Srinagar to Pulwama district on the road passing through Chattergam area of Budgam district in a white private car. “Three motor vehicle check points were established along the route to nab the militants. The car in which these youth were travelling did not stop at two check points when they were flagged down,” he said. “They even broke through the third barrier at Chattergam leading to the security forces opening firing on them,” Pandey said. He added, army regrets the loss of lives and has ordered an enquiry to investigate into the circumstance leading to the incident.
“The Budgam incident in the Kashmir Valley is highly regrettable. A fair inquiry will be held and action taken against those found guilty,” Defence Minister Arun Jaitley tweeted. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also tweeted saying that, “Have spoken to Union Defence Minister @arunjaitley reg. yesterday's incident where Army firing resulted in 2 avoidable deaths such killings have no place in an otherwise improving security environment where militancy incidents are at record low levels. These deaths have served to vitiate the poll atmosphere already strained by the post flood reconstruction challenge that people face”.
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is using the incident as an opportunity to take on AFSPA. “Prime Minister Modi must take a call on this law and use his decisive mandate as an opportunity to open a new chapter in J&K by taking step to revoke the AFSPA, thus restoring the constitutional rights of the people living here,” Mehbooba Mufti said in a statement. (With inputs from Arvind, JKSC)