Shinde hints Pakistan behind Srinagar attack

New Delhi


The two terrorists killed in Srinagar seemed to be foreign 'fidayeen' (suicide attackers), Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinder said Thursday.

Items recovered from them appeared to be of Pakistani make, Shinde told parliament.

Five Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed by the two militants before they themselves were gunned down.

According to Shinde, an ointment tube recovered from the slain men was found to be manufactured in Karachi. They also had diaries with telephone numbers.

"The numbers in the diaries appears to be of Pakistani origin," he said, speaking in the Lok Sabha after opposition leader Sushma Swaraj.

"Their bodies were shaven which confirms them to be fidayeens. The killed terrorists are suspected to be of foreign origin," he said.

The minister said responsibility for the attack had been taken by a caller for Hizb-ul-Mujahideen but the authenticity of the claim was yet to be ascertained.

Sushma Swaraj's remarks that the government should be careful vis-a-vis lifting the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Jammu and Kashmir irked the National Conference.

The remark sparked off heated exchanges between National Conference and BJP members.

"We must not be emotional about the issue. We should take ground realities into account as the incident happened in areas where there is a demand for lifting AFSPA," said Sushma Swaraj.

"Parliament should challenge Pakistan and terrorism in one voice," she said.

Shinde said two unidentified terrorists took advantage of a small gap in the fencing at the police public school in Bemina area of Srinagar to enter the compound, mingle with youths there and open fire.

Apart from the five CRPF troopers killed, six others sustained injuries -- one of them was in critical condition. Four civilians were also injured.

Shinde said about 50 CRPF personnel of the 73 Battalion were present at the school for further deployment when the incident occurred.

He said two AK rifles, five magazines, two pistols and four grenades were among the recoveries made from the slain terrorists.

Swaraj also urged the government to stop talking to Pakistan till it put an end to terror activities against India.

Parties like the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Samajwadi Party, Communist Party of India-Marxist and National Conference protested against not being given a chance to speak on the issue.

"This is not right. Only BJP was allowed to speak," said an angry RJD chief Lalu Prasad.

However, Speaker Meira Kumar convinced the members that the house had to debate and pass the union budget 2013-14 Thursday.

In the Rajya Sabha, members asked government to clarify what steps it was taking against terror and Pakistan.

"Pakistan wants to subvert India, they want to cripple our economy and divert our attention from development," BJP's M. Venkaiah Naidu said.

"The government must understand it is the handiwork of our enemy Pakistan, which is funding terror."- IANS