The Congress today demanded a probe into the construction of a house adjacent to an army establishment by a senior BJP leader in Jammu and Kashmir, accused the Narendra Modi government of compromising on national security and asked if the prime minister who sought votes in the name of armed forces would act against party leaders.
Congress communication in-charge Randeep Surjewala asked whether the prime minister would hold a probe into the "illegal activities" of BJP leaders who had carried out unauthorised construction next to the army ammunition depot in Nagrota along the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, which threatened national security.
In a letter addressed to Nirmal Singh on March 19, Commander of Army's 16 Corps Lt General Saranjeet Singh objected to the construction of the house and said, "It has implications on the security of a major ammunition storage facility as well as the safety of personnel living in close vicinity of the ammunition depot."
Congress leader Surjewala accused state BJP and RSS leaders including Speaker Nirmal Singh, deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta and others of buying illegal land near the ammunition depot, thereby endangering security paraphernalia around the sensitive area.
"Will Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who does not hesitate to seek votes in the name of the Army, take action against his leaders including Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister and the Assembly Speaker? Will he hold a probe into this entire affair...BJP leaders are insulting our armed forces in J&K," he told reporters in Delhi.
"Is this Modi's '56 Inch Chest Policy' whereby BJP leaders are encouraged to illegally construct and attack the Indian Army? The simple question is - Will the Modi Government wake up from its deep slumber and act against their own?" he said.
The land in question was bought in 2000 by the Himgiri Infrastructure Development Private Limited, whose shareholders included present J&K Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta and BJP MP Jugal Kishore besides Nirmal Singh, who resigned as the deputy chief minister on April 30 ahead of a major reshuffle in the state cabinet.
"This is a clear case of gross impropriety, illegality and flouting of rules and regulations, resulting in imperiling the security apparatus. This comes at a time when Pakistan has virtually accepted its role in 26/11 attacks.
"Instead of accepting their unlawful actions, the pseudo nationalist BJP leader had the audacity to attack the Indian Army by calling them 'politically motivated' and saying that 'Army is harassing people'," he alleged.
The Congress leader accused the BJP of being a "habitual offender when it comes to insulting our Armed forces" and alleged that Union Minister V K Singh, prime minister Modi and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat have "insulted" the Army earlier.
He said in the past four years, 362 jawans have lost their lives and 213 civilians killed in terror attacks in J&K as most of the attacks have taken place on Army/Air Force/BSF bases.
"Why did Modi Government not learn any lessons after Uri, Pathankot, Nagrota, Sunjwan?
"Post the Sunjwan Army camp attack, where six security officers were martyred, there were reports that the attack was a result of illegal constructions, very close to the camp. Why did the J&K Government and the Centre allow such a construction?" he also asked.
"But, in brazen display of arrogance, Nirmal Singh dismissed the serious concerns raised by the Corp Commander and accused the army of being 'politically motivated' and also went a step further charging the brave Indian army of 'harassing the local residents'," he said.
In a statement, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma said, "An inquiry by an independent agency should be ordered into the entire land deal including the huge advancing of loans by a bank to the high profile company.
In the light of facts which have come to light, an immediate and appropriate action should be taken against the arrogant and irresponsible leaders of the party, Sharma said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)