Srinagar: Three weeks after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed by security forces in an intelligence-driven operation, the PDP- BJP government is still in a Catch 22 situation to explain the government's position on the killing of the wanted terrorist.
- Had we known, would've taken more precautions: Singh on Burhan op
- Mehbooba had said security forces did not know about Wani
- BJP countered the statement, said identity of terrorist doesn't matter
The deputy chief minister and senior BJP leader Nirmal Singh today echoed chief minister Mehbooba Mufti who had said that security forces would have given a chance to Burhan Wani had they knew about his presence in the target house at Bamdoora village in Anantnag.
"It was an accident," said Nirmal Singh. "If we had known about it earlier then we would have taken precautions prior to operation." But hours after the statement, Mr Singh made a u-turn, saying, "Facts have been misinterpreted."
"I was asked about government's failure on controlling the violence that happened after the operation. I said precautions would have been taken so that violence would not have happened after Burhan's killing," Mr Singh said.
Earlier, the BJP had contradicted Mehbooba Mufti's statement that security forces did not know about Wani. The party said that security forces had the knowledge and the identity of a terrorist "doesn't matter" in such situations.
Terming the killing of Wani as "success", Jammu and Kashmir BJP chief Sat Sharma said security forces don't act "without information".
"As far as the question of the event (killing of Wani) is concerned, definitely the security forces had the knowledge... they knew who was inside and they undertook their job after taking everything into consideration," he said.
Massive protests have swept the Kashmir valley since the killing of 22-year-old Burhan Wani on July 8. Forty-nine people including women and children have been killed in security forces' firing and around 3,000 have been wounded. As Pakistan declared Wani a martyr and senior leaders of the ruling People's Democratic Party demanded an investigation into his killing, Chief Minister Mufti contradicted the details of how he had died.
While security forces had said Wani's killing was the result of intelligence inputs, Ms Mufti said the terrorist would have been "given a chance" had the forces been aware of his identity.
Regarding her statement, Mr Sharma said, "We must keep the morale of the security forces high". "As the president of the state unit of BJP, I can say the identity of the terrorist does not matter for the security forces," he said.