Defence Minister A.K Antony is expected to make a new statement in Parliament today on the killing of five Indian soldiers at the Line of Control (Loc) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch District.
Antony on Tuesday had said: “In the ensuing firefight, five Indian soldiers were martyred and one soldier was injured. The ambush was carried out by approximately 20 heavily armed terrorists along with persons dressed in PakistanArmy uniforms.”
This statement had created a political uproar with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accusing the Defence Minister of giving a ‘clean chit’ to Pakistan and demanded an apology from him.
According to reports, a little after the Minister spoke in Parliament, the Army issued a statement which said that Pakistani soldiers had killed the Indian jawans.
Top BJP leaders listed the contradictions between the Army’s statement and that of the Minister at a meeting with the Prime Minister on Wednesday. They pointed out that the Army’s release mentioned the involvement of Pakistan’s Border Action Team (BAT) but Antony’s statement had no such mention.
The Defence Minister told Parliament on Wednesday that his statement was based on “whatever information” he had at the time.
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Wednesday defended Defence Minister and said that the latter made the statement based on facts.
Reports state that the BJP leaders were reportedly assured at the meeting with the PM that the Defence Minister would update Parliament today after getting a detailed report from Army Chief General Bikram Singh, who visited Kashmir yesterday.
Source: Business Standards