Jammu: Union Minister Jitendra Singh today said the Army and other security forces are "soft targets" for some Kashmir-centric political circles who "lack courage and conviction" to condemn even acts of terror by known terrorists.
Mr Singh, the Minister of State (MoS) in Prime Minister's Office (PMO), was reacting to a tweet from former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and opposition National Conference working president Omar Abdullah, condemning the killing of a protester who was mowed down by a CRPF vehicle in downtown Srinagar yesterday.
"I do not wish to get into what an individual has said. This has been a known practice in some of the Kashmir-centric political circles that they find security forces as soft targets and are very quick and prompt to condemn anything even if it is unfounded and unsubstantiated," Mr Singh told reporters, suggesting such politicians to give up "this type of attitude".
Mr Omar had wrote on Twitter, "earlier they tied people to the fronts of jeeps & paraded them around villages to deter protestors now they just drive their jeeps right over protestors. Is this your new SOP @Mehbooba Mufti sahiba? Ceasefire means no guns so use jeeps?"
Asked to react to the tweet, Mr Singh said it is more condemnable than this kind of attack and aggressive attitude towards security forces, especially during the month of Ramzan.
The union minister said because knowing very well that the Army and security forces are the "soft targets" and therefore are not liable, it is easy to condemn their actions and be apologetic for actions of those perpetrated by separatists and other elements.
"The BJP is of the view that selective condemnation of violence shows lack of courage and lack of conviction. Terror is a terror and if we do not have the conviction and courage enough to call terror a terror then we also do not have the prerogative or to enjoy the prerogative to condemn it selectively in one case," he said.
He said they (Kashmir-centric politicians) do not have the courage and conviction to condemn terror acts even by known terrorists and "this is high time they gave up that (type of attitude)".
Two youths were injured after they had allegedly been hit by a CRPF vehicle during clashes between protestors and security forces in Nowhatta area in Srinagar yesterday.
The duo was taken to SKIMS hospital at Soura in Srinagar where one of them -- Kaiser Bhat -- succumbed around midnight yesterday.