A day after terrorists killed eight Army personnel and caused injuries to 19 others in an attack in uptown Hyderpora, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is on a two-day visit to the state, vowed to continue fight against terrorism.
After reaching Jammu and Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar, Manmohan along with Congress president Sonia Gandhi visited the Army Base Hospital in Badamibagh Cantonment and enquired about the health condition of the injured jawans.
“Terrorists will not be allowed to succeed in their nefarious designs. I would like to make it clear that the entire nation stands united against terrorism,” Manmohan said, while inaugurating the Rattle Hydro Power Project at Kishtwar in Jammu division. While paying tributes to the soldiers, he said: “I am proud of what Army is doing in the service of the nation.”
Manmohan and Sonia were accompanied by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Rajya Sabha member Ambika Soni. They were received by Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen Gurmit Singh at the Base Hospital, who briefed them about the condition of injured soldiers and services being rendered by the hospital towards the troops and valley at large.
At the hospital, an Army spokesperson said both Manmohan and Sonia met the injured soldiers and praised their bravery.
The Prime Minister said peace was a perquisite for development in the state, but added that the levels of violence have gone down in the last few years. “Security situation has shown considerable improvement. Terrorist-related violence in 2012 had shown a sharp decline and was the lowest in last two decades,” he said.
Rebuking the separatists who have been telling voters to boycott polls, Manmohan asked the people to participate more in the electoral process for a better future to the J&K youth. “Elections reflect true aspirations and hopes,” he added.
Manmohan said the policies of the government for ensuring a better future for the people would succeed only when all economic and political processes are carried out in a democratic manner. The PM is expected to chair a security meet in Srinagar on Wednesday, before he flies back to Delhi.
Meanwhile, normal life was hit in the Kashmir Valley as a shutdown was observed based on a call from separatist leaders to protest against Manmohan’s visit. Parts of Srinagar also reeled under severe restrictions imposed by the administration.