Have proof of strike, but will not release it: Govt Maha govt starts building its case for Maratha quota SIGNS OF RIFT: MARATHA GROUPS SPAR
LoC ACTION PM tells ministers not to indulge in chest-thumping over the raid
The army has handed over video evidence of its September 29 surgical strikes on terrorist launchpads in Pakistanoccupied Kashmir but the government doesn’t see the need to make them public, two senior ministers said on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked his ministers not to indulge in chest-thumping over the raid, sources said, adding the army, too, is not in favour of making public the details of the sensitive operation.
Urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu rejected the opposition’s demand for proof of the strikes, saying any further discussions would be an “insult” to the army. “There is no need to respond to such irresponsible comments and demands. Fortunately, the Congress has also realised its mistake and distanced itself from the comments of its leaders,” Naidu told mediapersons a day after he said that the proof would be presented at an appropriate time.
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar has also concurred with the army. Parrikar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval were shown unedited footage of the Soldiers patrol the LoC in Pallanwal sector. After a brief lull, Pakistan Army resumed shelling along a major portion of the LoC.
September 29 operation on October 1, followed by a presentation of an edited version the next day by the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO). After seeing the visuals, Parrikar conveyed to the Prime Minister that he was satisfied and felt there was no need to release the footage.
Hindustan Times had reported on October 3 that Modi had on September 23 — five days after an army camp in Uri was attacked by militants that India says were based out of Pakistan — first told Parrikar and Doval of his decision to strike across the LoC.
“The opposition should understand
the difference between a covert and overt strike. And it is not incumbent on the Indian army to release video footage every time they do their duty,” a senior official said on conditions of anonymity. South Block sources said there was no need to rub Pakistan’s nose in the dirt after the successful surgical strike.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and a section of Congress leaders have been calling for evidence, couching it as a must to debunk “Pakistan propaganda” that the raid was nothing but cross-border fighting.
Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif hit back at Indian counterpart Narendra Modi’s speech on poverty, saying it cannot be eradicated by “driving tanks on farmlands”. Addressing a joint session of Parliament, Sharif accused India of running away from dialogue. “Pakistan is against war and wants durable peace. We are ready to settle all issues, including Kashmir, through serious resultoriented talks,” he said. He mentioned Wani again. “The death of Wani, son of the Kashmiri soil, had reminded India to give Kashmiris their right to selfdetermination.”
Under pressure from the silent Maratha marches, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday moved to build a case for reservation for the community, holding an all-party meet to discuss strategy and hiring the best legal brains before the next hearing in the matter on October 13 in the Bombay high court.
The government appointed leading lawyer Harish Salve to represent it in the high court and will send a formal communication to the Centre to release caste-based data from the 2011 census related to the Marathas in Maharashtra. Sources told HT that within two days, the government would also file a charge sheet on the rape and murder of the teen at Kopardi, in Ahmednagar district, that triggered the silent Maratha protests.
“The CM will write to the Centre to get specific caste census data on the Maratha community. This data will be sent for analysis to the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics in Pune. We believe it will help us show that the community is economically backward with a majority of them small and marginal farmers besides mathadis (headload workers). We have pulled out data from archives to show their social backwardness,” said Vinod Tawde, state education minister and a Maratha leader, who is heading a ministerial panel to strengthen the state’s case on reservation.