"Soldiers will die every day. Is there a nation where army-men don't die? When there is a scuffle in a village, someone is bound to get injured" the lawmaker from Rampur told reporters when asked about the attack. He went on to add, "Is there a device that stops bullets? Is there anything that can stop death? If so, we will get it prepared".
The 77-year-old later retracted his statement, saying he had intended no disrespect to the army. "I have not insulted the army. I'm sorry, I apologise, but I have not said any such thing."
Others demanded that steps be taken against the lawmaker. Appeals to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah to take strong action flooded Twitter.
Unfortunate comment from Rampur MP Nepal Singh. If can't speak or do good then better keep your mouth shut.— #SavePriyanshu (@crowngaurav) January 2, 2018
He is also one of the laziest MP I have known so far. https://t.co/v2nGfoF975
I strongly demand from @BJP4India to sack the MP Nepal Singh and try him in court of law.— Ashish Ranjan (@aashishranjann) January 2, 2018
Sir @AmitShah@AmitShahOffice pls take strict action against Mr. Nepal Singh so that a good message goes into party members and public as well.— Gaurav Mehta (@gmjecks) January 2, 2018
Hope to get your positive answer. Thanks.@BJP4India@narendramodi
The five men of the Central Reserve Police Force had died in Pulwama in a post-midnight terror attack on New Year's day. Three terrorists had targeted the building that serves as their training centre. The terrorists had been killed after a 36-hour gun-battle.
Union home minister Rajnath Singh had commended the soldiers, saying, "I appreciate all our soldiers for their sincere efforts to gun down terrorists at the border".