Jammu: Amid the ongoing anti-militancy operation in Rajouri-Poonch sector, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said that whatever has happened in Poonch, justice will be done.
Talking to reporters after visiting the GMC hospital Rajouri where injured civilians, are being treated the Defence Minister said “I had come to see them (injured). Whatever has happened, justice will be done…” . Singh, who visited the border areas and took first hand review of the situation, met six people (NoKs), two from the families of each civilian allegedly killed in custody a few hours after they were picked up by the security forces on December 22 at Government Dak Bungalow in Rajouri and later paid the injured a visit at the hospital.
Officials said that in the afternoon hours Singh met the family members of three civilians who were killed in suspicious circumstances and assured them that justice will be done. The defence minister also complimented the local people for their steadfastness and contribution towards joining the mainstream.
Three civilians from Topa Pir village, situated near the site of Thursday’s militant attack on Army vehicles in which four soldiers were killed and three injured, had died in custody a few hours after they were allegedly picked up by security forces for questioning the next morning. Five other civilians picked up from Thanamandi area of adjoining border district the same morning were hospitalised with injuries.
The district administration has promised Rs 30 lakh, a government job and a 10 marla plot in Surankote to the next of kin of each deceased. Of this, it has already paid them cheques of Rs 10 lakh each. Earlier, defence minister carried out a first-hand assessment of the prevailing situation as well as the counter-militancy operations in the area. He was accompanied by Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande and General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi. Singh was given a detailed brief on the prevalent security situation, counter-infiltration grid and operational preparedness. The aspects associated with the operating challenges were discussed by Rajnath Singh with the Commanders on ground. He called for professional conduct and due diligence while carrying out operations. Interacting with the troops, he exhorted the troops to remain extra vigilant, so that no untoward incident occurs in future, reiterating that there should be zero tolerance to militancy. Singh described the ‘recent incidents’ in the sector as ‘unfortunate’ and asked all ranks to undertake operations based on hard intelligence, in accordance with established procedures aided by niche technology. He urged all Commanders to have zero tolerance for violations of the well-established SOPs