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Kulgam killings: BJP attacked by West Bengal parties


Press Trust of India Kolkata
The killing of five labourers from West Bengal by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir has provided the Congress, the Trinamool Congress and other political parties of the state with an opportunity to attack the BJP claiming that the Narendra Modi government have failed to control the situation there.
The Congress, TMC and the CPI(M) accused the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government of trying to hide the "real situation", while the saffron party urged them to refrain from politicising a "terror attack".
Five labourers from West Bengal's Murshidabad district were shot dead and another was injured on Tuesday by terrorists in Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir which is under President's Rule at present.
After visiting the victim's families, Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Chowdhury slammed the Centre for allegedly pursuing "wrong policies" that led to "worsening" of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
He also wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah urging him to ensure safety and security of non-Kashmiris working there in various capacities.
The family members of the victims said their men were threatened regularly by terror groups to leave the valley as they were "non-Kashmiris".
In another letter, the Congress leader also requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to send an all-party delegation to Kashmir to assess the situation there and extend financial support to the victims' families from his relief fund.
"The situation in the Valley is becoming worse with every passing day. It is going out of our hands because of the wrong policies of the central government, which is only busy trying to hide the real situation," Chowdhury told reporters after meeting the family members of the victims at Sagardighi.
"The government is not allowing an all-party delegation of the country to visit the Valley but is allowing an EU delegation," he said.
A large number of people from West Bengal, especially Murshidabad district, are employed in Kashmir, Chowdhury who is a five-time MP from Berhampore in the district, said in his letter to Shah.
"Please ensure safety and security of these people as the family members are unable to connect with them. All the labourers and workers in the valley should return to their homes safely," he said in the letter.
He also requested Shah to open a helpline so that the family members can get in touch with their near and dear ones who are still in the valley.
West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee demanded a "strong investigation" into the incident to find out the "real truth". She also announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each for the victims' families.
"...five innocent labourers were brutally killed in a pre planned manner. We are totally shocked! Presently there are no political activities in Kashmir and entire law and order is with the Government of India," she said in a tweet.
Banerjee tasked a senior state police officer to coordinate and find out details about the killings.
Senior TMC leader and state minister Arup Roy, however, directly blamed the BJP-led central government for its alleged failure to control the situation in the valley.
"The recent incidents of violence after the abrogation of Article 370 is a proof that the situation has worsened and not improved as promised by the Modi government," Roy claimed.
A TMC delegation led by local MLA Khalilur Rehman visited the family members, while Kolkata Mayor and senior party leader Firhad Hakim is also scheduled to visit them.
CPI(M) central committee member Sujan Chakraborty said the union government should be answerable for the deaths of the five labourers.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh slammed the TMC and other parties for "trying to politicise" the terror attack.
"The central government is taking all the required steps. The opposition parties are shedding crocodile tears. BJP workers are getting killed regularly in West Bengal," Ghosh said.
The victims' families said the workers were threatened by terrorists asking them to leave the Valley.
"My son and others were regularly getting threat calls from some terror groups. They were telling them to leave the valley as we are non-Kashmiris and eating into jobs of the Kashmiris," Jaris Sheikh told reporters.
He is the father of Noimuddin Sheikh, one of the five victims and himself works as a labourer in an apple garden in Kashmir.

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First Published: Oct 30 2019 | 9:40 PM IST

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