India home minister challenges account of 2019 deadly attack on military convoy
New Delhi (Reuters) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has nothing to hide concerning a deadly attack on a military convoy in Kashmir in 2019, India’s home minister said.
Earlier this month, Satya Pal Malik, the then-Jammu and Kashmir governor, alleged that paramilitary personnel were denied air transport and were made to travel by road amid intelligence failures to detect a threat.
Malik informed Modi that the attack was a failure on the government’s part but was asked to stay silent, he told local news outlet the Wire.
Home Minister Amit Shah, speaking in a roundtable discussion on the India Today TV programme, said the credibility of the comments needed to be questioned.
“I would surely tell the people of the country that the Bharatiya Janata Party government has done nothing that needs to be hidden,” he said.
His comments are the government’s first response to Malik’s allegations.
A suicide bomber rammed a car into a bus carrying Indian paramilitary police in Kashmir on February 14, 2019, killing 40 of them in the deadliest attack in decades on security forces in the disputed region and raising tensions with arch foe Pakistan.
The Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack.
Kashmir is a Muslim-majority region at the heart of decades of hostility between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan. The neighbours both rule parts of the region while claiming the entire territory as theirs.