deadly attack

Doubt if SOP was followed properly: Parrikar on Pampore attack

Parrikar-Pathankot (File) Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday wondered if there was any security lapse behind the Pampore terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir but Home Minister Rajnath Singh made it clear bullets will not be "counted" during India's retaliation.

As yesterday's attack on a CRPF convoy, the deadliest one on security forces in recent years that left eight personnel of the force dead, triggered an outrage, Singh and Parrikar said the security forces have "standing orders" and "full freedom" to retaliate and forget the "count of bullets" if they are fired upon.

With questions cropping up over a possible security lapse, Parrikar expressed doubt if the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) was followed properly by the bus-borne CRPF personnel at Pampore. He said he "doubted if the SOP was followed properly" while noting that the clear picture will emerge after the inquiry.

"We will only get to know the exact reason after the inquiry," Parrikar told reporters in Bhubaneswar. A three-member team of Home Ministry officials is visiting Kashmir on Tuesday to find out if there were any security lapses and the practices being followed during the movement of the attacked CRPF convoy.

It will also look into the possible increase of cross border infiltration during the attack.

"I have asked the Home Secretary to send a committee to Pampore to look into any lapses so that we can correct it in the future and our jawans do not face martyrdom in such incidents," Singh said.

"An attempt is being made by these terrorists and our neighbouring country to destabilise India", Singh said, without naming Pakistan while addressing a function in Fatehgarh Sahib in Punjab.

At another event in Ranchi, Singh said the approach of the neighbouring country was not like what it should be and recalled that he had given "standing orders" to the Director General after the killing of five citizens by Pakistani Rangers on the border one-and-a-half years ago.

Elaborating, Singh said that when the DG had told him that there was no response from Pakistan even after the Indian side showed white flag for dialogue, he had given standing orders that while no bullet should be fired first, but if any bullet was fired from that side (then) "forget the count of the bullets fired" by us.

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