National Conference president and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on Saturday stirred controversy by raising doubts over the death of 40 CRPF soldiers in Pulwama attack. In a purported video shared by news agency ANI, Abdullah is heard saying, “how many jawans have been martyred in Chhattisgarh? Has Modi ever paid tributes to them? However, those 40 who died in Pulwama, I have my doubts”.
#WATCH Farooq Abdullah, NC: Kitne sipahi Hindustan ke shaheed huye Chhattisgarh mein? Kya kabhi Modi ji vahan gaye unpe phool chadhane ke liye?........magar vo 40 log CRPF ke shaheed ho gaye, uska bhi mujhe shak hai. pic.twitter.com/cK3M1u67Nn— ANI (@ANI) March 30, 2019
Earlier, Farooq Abdullah had accused BJP of staging drama of attack on Jaish-e-Mohammad camp in Balakot. He mocked the BJP saying “only trees” fell during the air strikes. “Some say 300 were killed, some say 500 were killed while some say 700 were killed. No one was killed there. Not even a hen was killed. Only trees fell there and now, Pakistan have filed a case there that they should be given compensation for trees,” he said while addressing party workers in Budgam district ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections.
On February 26, the Indian Air Force (IAF)'s Mirage 2000 fighters armed with SPICE 2000 satellite-guided bombs had struck the Jaish-e-Mohammed's Balakot training camp in response to the gruesome terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on February 14. Being touted as the Surgical Strike 2.0, the airstrike killed "a very large number of Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists, trainers, senior commanders, and groups of jihadis" at the alleged terror camp in Balakot, India’s foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale said.
Earlier, Farooq Abdullah filed nomination papers from Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar-Budgam constituency. Farooq Abdullah filed the papers at Deputy Commissioner’s office in Srinagar and was accompanied by NC vice president Omar Abdullah, party general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar and various other party leaders.
Lok Sabha elections will begin on April 11 and polling would be held over seven phases through May 19, followed by counting of all votes on May 23. The assembly elections in four states – Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Odisha and Arunachal Pradesh – will be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls. Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir will not be held along with the general elections. Since the J&K has been dissolved, the EC is bound to hold fresh polls there as well within a six-month period, which will end in May. The Centre and the state administration, being managed by the Centre-appointed Governor, are against holding the two elections together.
However, all political parties in the state favoured simultaneous polls during a meeting with the Election Commission earlier this week.