Hours after 40 CRPF soldiers were killed in a terror attack at Pulwama on Thursday, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah found himself in a war of tweets with Union Minister Jitendra Singh over remarks that seemed to point a finger at regional parties in the region.
The heated interaction began after Dr Singh -- the Minister of State for the Prime Minister's Office -- accused Kashmir-centric politicians of acting apologetic whenever incidents like these occur. "Dastardly attack on CRPF personnel is a desperate act by terrorists on the run. While the entire nation stands (in solidarity) with the Indian security forces, will this be an eye-opener for Kashmir-centric politicians who are always apologetic on such occasions?" he asked.
Offended, Mr Abdullah accused Dr Singh of using the tragedy to make a political point. "Shame on this apology for a minister! Mainstream Kashmiri politicians condemned the attack hours before the PM even got around to saying anything. This man has the audacity to play politics with the dead & injured CRPF soldiers," the National Conference leader tweeted back, adding that he would wait until "the nation is done mourning the sacrifices of its brave sons" before giving a political reply to such "drivel".
The fight, however, was far from over. Dr Singh struck again, this time questioning the very basis of the National Conference leader's politics. "Disgusting to respond to this man called @OmarAbdullah who is a product of dynasty politics nourished by protracted militancy which sustains his political relevance, if at all he has any," he tweeted.
Mr Abdullah responded by calling the Union Minister a "disgrace". "Not one word of sympathy for the families of the dead & injured soldiers but he has time to tweet not once but twice to attack me. These are the people our country relies on to keep us safe," he tweeted.
Soon afterwards, Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti weighed in to speak out against the Union Minister's condemnation of Kashmiri parties. "I beg to differ. As MoS PMO, prudence deems it necessary that you enquire about the security lapse. Instead you re using it as an opportunity to berate us. No regard for solemnity of the occasion. Why discredit us when the fault lies in your refusal to address the problem?" she tweeted.
She was referring to Governor Satya Pal Malik's admission from the previous night that the tragedy had occurred due to some laparwahi (negligence). However, many politicians -- including Congress president Rahul Gandhi -- have resolved to stand by the families of the killed CRPF soldiers and not go into any alleged lapses that may have given rise to the incident.